Hallux Rigidus (Big Toe Arthritis)

Hallux Rigidus is a term used to describe wear and tear (arthritis) in the joint at the base of the big toe.

Over many years, the joint forms new bone, to increase its surface area, which contributes to the bony swelling felt around the joint. This also causes the joint to be stiff.

It is usually symptomatic due to pain on walking, rubbing of the bony swelling against shoes and stiffness of the joint.

Patients with arthritis in the big toe joint usually suffer from 3 different types of pain:

  • The irritation of the swelling caused by the excess bone formation rubbing against foot wear or irritating local structures like tendons and nerves.
  • A sharp pain over the top of the joint due to impingement of the excess bone as the joint moves upward.
  • A deep dull ache within the joint because of the actual rubbing of the worn surfaces of the arthritic joint.

There are three levels of procedures offered for the arthritis of the big toe.

The first tackle the excess bone to relief the local irritation and the impingement pain. This is called a Cheilectomy.

For information on the Cheilectomy procedure click here.

The second level are procedures that replace part or all the joint when the arthritis is more advanced.

For information on the 1st MTPJ Hemiarthroplasty (partial joint replacement) procedure click here.

The third group are procedures to fuse the joint when the arthritis is severe.

For information on the 1st MTPJ Fusion procedure click here.

There are also some recent procedures that aim at implanting a spacer within the joint that can reduce the rubbing of the surfaces and therefore improve the pain. These are still the subject of current research.

Patient Testimonies

Dear Mr Shalaby, Thank you for bringing my foot back to what it was, and for inspiring so many of my artworks. I wish you all the best in the future, and I hope you can continue to inspire hope in others, as you did in me.
Mr A J, 15 years old – Revision of EHL tendon repair
Dear Mr Shalaby Last year you operated on my ankle. It was badly broken and the joint was damaged. I was in doubt what the outcome of the Joint replacement would be. However I thought you would like to know that the operation was great success and I am walking now very well without a stick. I would like to thank you for all your professional care.  
Mr J G, 64 years old – Advanced post-traumatic Ankle Arthritis
Dear Mr Shalaby I cannot thank you enough for sorting out the severe deformities of my toes and the pain I was experiencing in the ball of the foot. The operation gave me my life back.  
Mrs E J, 55 years old – Rheumatoid Forefoot deformities
Dear Mr Shalaby My grateful thanks for your excellent professional care. My husband and I are very impressed with all the care and of course the results. Thank you.  
Mrs M M, 62 years old – Severe flat foot deformity
Dear Mr Shalaby Just a brief word to thank you for the excellent job you did on my ankle. After suffering years with my ankle pain, I can now say I have had no pain since the day of the operation and my overall walking ability has improved significantly.  
Mrs M G, 58 years old – Ankle fusion for congenital Dysplastic Ankle
Dear Mr Shalaby After the ankle ligament surgery, you performed I am back to all the sports I wanted to do and I can finally trust my ankle again. I am also writing to tell you that I have just manged to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I greatly appreciate you help.  
Mr J A, 34 years old – Lateral ligament repair for Ankle Instability
Dear Mr Shalaby Just to let you know that last week I completed the 97-mile West Highland Way Walk with a group of friends. So again, many many thanks.
Mrs S M, 30 years old – Bilateral Bunion Correction