Hallux Rigidus, Arthritic Toe, Stiff Toe

At our New York foot clinic, our team of highly specialized foot doctors use state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and treat your Hallux Limitus/Rigidus. During an in-depth consultation, we can assess your specific case and recommend the appropriate course of treatment, which may include the use of custom orthotics, physical therapy, or even surgery, to help eliminate any pain or discomfort. 


Hallux Rigidus involves loss of motion at the big toe joint because of arthritis. The upward motion of the big toe is either reduced or fully lost. This can happen when there is damage to cartilage or when there is new bone growth on top of the big toe joint.


Symptoms include difficulty bending the big toe upwards, pain and stiffness at the big toe joint while walking, swelling around the joint, and joint aches during cold weather.

Treatment Options

Conservative treatments involve wearing shoes that are stiff and have a large toe box, wearing custom orthotics with a Morton's extension, and physical therapy. Surgery may be required if the arthritis is advanced.

Treatment Option Description (with Duration)

In some cases, surgery is the only way to correct the problem. Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery involves either placing an implant to increase range of motion, or fusing the joint so the toe cannot move, and thus, no longer causes pain. If an implant is placed, you will be able to walk in a boot after the surgery. If the big toe joint is fused, it can take a couple extra weeks to heal completely.

Expected Outcome

If the condition is caught early, progression of the arthritis can be slowed. If treatment is delayed, surgery may be required depending on the damage to the joint. The goals of surgery are to increase motion or to eliminate it completely, resulting in reduced pain or complete relief of pain.

Enhance Your Quality of Life With Our Customized Foot and Ankle Treatments 

Whatever your foot/ankle injury or condition, our NYC foot doctors can get you back on your feet quickly! Serving the Downtown and Midtown Manhattan areas of NYC, we help you get back to healthy and happy living. Call us at 917-398-3668 or book an appointment online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: Diagnosis is made after a thorough clinical exam and taking a look at what the big toe joint looks like on X-Rays.

No, a neuroma is sometimes found on an MRI when you have a separate issue entirely. If it is not bothering you, treatment is not necessary. If it becomes painful at a later date you will know that you have it and can discuss the treatment plan with your doctor at that time.

One of our podiatrists will meet with you to discuss your condition, your current activity level, and the quality of your big toe joint cartilage. We will give you options and work with you to find the right solution to get back on your feet, pain-free!

Diagnosis is made after a thorough clinical exam and assessment of the big toe joint through X-Rays.

You should opt for stiff-soled shoes with a wide toe box. Wear shoes with little to no heel. Shoes with a rocker-bottom sole are also a great choice because they will take away any bending at the stiff toe joint, thus reducing your pain.


Conveniently located in Upper East Side, Downtown and Midtown Manhattan, NYC, our experienced podiatrists and medical team of professionals are here to help. Call, text, or fill out the form below:

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