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Aberdeen Podiatrist | Aberdeen What to Do About Hallux Rigidus | NJ | Central Jersey Ankle & Foot Care Specialists |

Christopher J. Mullin, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
Jessica A. Addeo, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
Valerie Gregory, MSPT
Daniel Phan, D.P.M.

Podiatric Medicine

20 Cambridge Drive, Suite D
Aberdeen, NJ 07747
[email protected]
Phone: 732-566-2841

What to Do About Hallux Rigidus

It probably has come on gradually—you noticed that occasionally your big toe felt a little stiff and was a bit painful but usually only after you had done a lot of walking and the discomfort would go away when you got off your feet. As time has gone on, the pain and stiffness have increased. Now you notice that there seems to be swelling around the joint of the big toe and that it is getting difficult to flex and bend the toe. These are classic symptoms of a condition known as Hallux Rigidus.

“Hallux” is a word for big toe and “rigidus” indicates it is rigid and difficult to move. Usually, hallux rigidus is preceded by hallux limitus, when the movement of the toe is just limited. Unfortunately, if a patient doesn’t seek treatment at this stage, the condition will progress to the rigidus stage. To compensate for the pain in the big toe, people with hallux rigidus may alter their walking pattern which can lead to pain in their lower back, hips, knees and ankles.

Causes of Hallux Rigidus

This condition is a form of arthritis that occurs as the cartilage in the joint of the toe wears out. It can also be brought on by abnormalities in the mechanics and structure of the foot that can be inherited or by improper alignment of the feet. At Central Jersey Ankle and Foot Care Specialists, our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Christopher J. Mullin and Dr. Jessica A. Addeo will take a thorough medical history along with conducting a complete examination of your foot and toe. X-rays or other imaging studies may be ordered to assess how far the condition has progressed and to help the foot doctor determine the best treatment for your individual case.

Treatment Options

If hallux rigidus has progressed too far, surgery may be the only way to get relief and correct the position of the toe. Caught in earlier stages, other treatment options exist, including:

  • Medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Injections: Corticosteroid injections are another avenue to pain and inflammation reduction
  • Physical Therapy: Ultra sound and stretching exercises may help with pain and in restoring range of motion
  • Orthotics: Orthotic devices inserted in the shoes may correct foot alignment and function and take the pressure off the toe joint


The time to make an appointment at our Aberdeen office is when you first notice that you are experiencing pain or stiffness in your toe. Getting treatment early can prevent pain and surgery down the road.

Treatments available for this condition include shoe modification, anti-inflammatory medication, orthotics, physical therapy and surgery. As with many foot problems, learning and practicing correct alignment is often helpful. Surgery is recommended as a last resort. Contact us today to determine which treatment option might work best for you.

Aberdeen Podiatrist Central Jersey Ankle & Foot Care Specialists is a poidiatry office providing What to Do About Hallux Rigidus, orthopedic, pain, diabetes, bunions and much more in Aberdeen, NJ. We also do Achilles Tendonitis, Allergic Contact Dermatitis , Athlete's Foot, Brachymetatarsia, Bunions, Calluses/Corns, Diabetic Foot Care, Flatfoot (Fallen Arches), Ganglions, Haglund's Deformity, Hallux Rigidus, Hammertoes, Heel Pain/Fasciitis, Infections, Injuries, Ingrown Toenails, Metatarsalgia, Morton's Neuroma, Onychomycosis, Osteoarthritis, Pediatric Foot Care, Plantar Warts, Plantar Fasciitis, Posterior Tibial Dysfunction, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Running Injuries, Sesamoiditis, Sprains/Strains, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Tailor's Bunion, Tendonitis, Toe Deformities, Xerosis and all work related in the 07747 area and surrounding areas in Aberdeen