Hallux Limitus is the medical word for a condition in which the big toe joint is painfully stiff. The medical word for the big toe is hallux valgus. Hallux Rigidus refers to a condition in which the big toe is immobile.  

The big toe joint appears to have normal motion, however, this motion can be reduced when weight is on the foot and during typical standing and walking, further complicating matters.  

Functional Hallux limitus refers to a condition that affects the foot when it is in motion.  



Functional issues can lead to structural deformities, as is seen with many foot ailments. As the disease advances, the big toe joint develops a degenerative kind of arthritis. 

The first metatarsal bone, a lengthy bone behind the big toe joint, is the most prevalent cause of Hallux limitus. The first metatarsal bone is raised compared to the other metatarsal bones that are behind the other toes in this disease. Whenever this occurs, the big toe joint is unable to move freely, resulting in a form of jamming.  

A wide range of symptoms may begin to emerge. A painful central callus on the bottom of the big toe is a regular occurrence. In this case, the big toe does not bend upward enough, resulting in pain and calluses on its underside. 

People with diabetes should keep a close eye on this area because it is prone to developing an ulcer that can become infected due to pressure. 

Bone spurs can form on the top of the joint as a result of the big toe joint being jammed. Shoe pressure can cause this hump on the top of the big toe joint to become inflamed. The big toe joint’s limited range of motion might cause pain in the joint.  

The big toe joint stiffens and becomes uncomfortable to move over time. Bone spurs increase in number when the joint degenerates. If left untreated, the joint could be completely destroyed. 



An x-ray and a physical examination of the foot are used to make the diagnosis. It is possible that x-rays are normal in the early stages of the illness. Bone spurs and/or joint narrowing may become apparent as the disease progresses. 



Anti-inflammatory medicines, cortisone injections, and functional orthotics are used in the first phase of treatment. Even though oral drugs and cortisone injections can alleviate symptoms, they have little effect on the disease’s progression because they don’t target the underlying cause. But functional orthotics aim to address the root of the problem. Most of these gadgets are small enough to slip into a pair of shoes and work to cure the joint’s underlying dysfunction. While orthotics can’t restore the damage that has already been done to the joint, they can slow or halt any further harm. 


Doral Health and Wellness Multi-Specialty Clinic specialize in Podiatry for treating lower leg injuries in order to increase mobility in patients. X-rays and laboratory testing are used by podiatrists to diagnose lower leg and foot diseases. Please call us at  347-955-3463. 

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