HALLUX RIGIDUS is sometimes caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis and occurs in the big toe joint. As time goes by, it becomes increasingly harder to bend the toe and becomes quite painful. Some other symptoms include pain and stiffness, not able to do certain activities like running anymore, swelling, and inflammation.
If you catch it early enough, you can use some non-surgical treatment options to deal with it. Some of these include shoe modifications, orthotic devices, medications, injection therapy, physical therapy.
You should start looking into surgery if the pain becomes too great and it is too immobilizing on your body. One of our Rheumatoid Arthritis Warriors recently had this surgery, sent us some pictures, and answered a few questions about the surgery.
The surgery only took 15 minutes. There were about 4-5 people in the room during surgery. The main Dr, a few nurses, and an anesthesiologist. It usually can be done with just an ankle block when a type of anesthetic is injected into the foot to numb it and all actions done on it. However, in this case, because the patient had anxiety, she opted to go with sedation.
Prior to waking up, she was given an ankle block to help with the immediate pain. It took about 24 hours for its effects to wear off at which point she started a pain medication.
For the first 4 days after the operation, She had to use crutches to get around the house and do errands with. After this, she was able to walk very short distances as long as she walked on the side or heel of her foot.
This photo was taken on day 7 after the surgery when they took off the wound dressing. A velcro slipper shoe was given to wear. The stitches will be removed on Post-op day 14.
Recovery has been simple for the most part. Her main word of advice for anyone doing this procedure is to keep your foot elevated.