Hallux Rigidus

What is Hallux Rigidus

Hallux Rigidus is where there is no movement of the great toe. Normal range of dorsiflexion motion of the first MPJ should be 65 to 75 degrees in order to allow for a normal gait.

Normal Great Toe Hallux Rigidus

Causes of Hallux Rigidus

The causes of Hallux rigidus are the same as those that cause Hallux Limitus. Sometimes a hallux limitus preceeds the development of a hallux rigidus

Diagnosis of Hallux Limitus

Typically someone with hallux rigidus will have no movement of the great toe and it appears rigid. A dorsal exostosis may also be present as seen in the following picture

At the Ankle, Foot and Orthotic Centre we are able to provide additional information about the presence of a function or structural with ultrasound imaging.

Treatment of Hallux Rigidus

Treatment aims to reduce the movement of the painful great toe this can occur with

  • Turf toe taping
  • Rocker soled shoes
  • Stiffer more supportive shoes (Birkenstock or a shoe with a similar stiffer forefoot)
  • Carbon fibre orthotic insert
  • Surgical fusion of the great toe.
  • Metal joint replacements rarely work for this condition
  • The artificial cartiva implant is showing some promise although is not available in Australia yet


The Ankle, Foot and Orthotic Centre’s Northcote Podiatrists can help you with all lower limb complaints, including Hallux Rigidus. Make an appointment to get your foot and ankle pain under control.

Expert Podiatrists for the treatment of Hallux Rigidus servicing the areas of Northcote, Thornbury, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Carlton, North Carlton, Alphington, Fairfield, Brunswick, Coburg and Preston