Stiff Big Toe Joint (Hallux Rigidus)
Hallux rigidus is essentially a progressive arthritis leading to stiffness and pain in the big toe joints. The loss of cartilage, which occurs first along the top half of this joint, is believed to be the result of repetitive jamming as the big toe joint attempts to move upward with each step. This can take many years to develop, but can become quite symptomatic. In the later stages of this disease process, cartilage covering the remainder of the joint surface also erodes, leading to a progressively worse and more bothersome arthritic joint.