The big toe joint is under tremendous pressure with every step we take. Running or jumping puts even more stress on this joint. It’s rather amazing how well it stands up to the pounding. If you can get through life without a malady to this joint you’ll be extremely lucky.
There are a few common maladies that afflict the big toe joint. We’re referring to the joint where the toe meets the foot. Much more can go wrong here than the big toe joint closest to the toenail.
Here are 3 of the most common Big Toe Joint Maladies we see almost every day:
Gout is an inflammatory condition caused by the build-up of uric acid that affects the big toe joint more than any other part of the body. Sudden onset of pain, redness, and swelling in this joint is usually gout until proven otherwise. The pain is most often quite significant. Some people can’t even put a shoe on.
The cause of Gout has been linked to a high protein diet, alcohol, certain medications, genetics, and kidney conditions. The treatment consists of taking medication or getting a cortisone shot to eliminate the pain. A test may be done to determine if the uric acid is high. People who have had gout more than once are usually put on a gout-prevention medication for the rest of their lives.
The most common form of arthritis in the big toe joint isn’t from aging, but rather from the abnormal movement of the joint. There is a specific condition that leads to the build-up of bone spurs and cartilage damage of this joint. Pain can set in early. Some people will complain that the joint doesn’t move very well.
When we diagnose this arthritis condition, our treatment recommendation will be based on the severity of the pain. We’ll always try non-surgical methods if possible. If a person doesn’t wait too long we have a chance of eliminating the pain by easier, non-invasive methods.
A bunion is perhaps the most common condition of the big toe joint. A bunion is an enlargement of the 1st metatarsal bone caused by genetics. Often when a bump forms on the inside of the foot, the big toe starts leaning toward the 2nd toe. A bunion becomes painful when it rubs against the shoe. Some people with a bunion are fortunate to never experience pain.
A bunion that hurts consistently is best treated with surgery to remove it. Newer methods have shortened the recovery period. There are many products advertised that claim to straighten a bunion deformity but most do very little.
Many people suffer from foot pain not knowing who to turn to. If you hear of someone talking about a foot problem let them know we can help. We’ll make it a priority to get them in quickly if you let us know they’ll be calling. Call our office to make an appointment @ 973-777-5771 or Request an Appointment Online