Hallux injuries are referred to as a group of injuries or deformities which affect the big toe. The hallux plays a critical role in the toe off/ push off phase during gait. Any hallux injuries can alter this stage of gait and lead to compensating injuries felt higher in the ankle and lower leg. The most common causes of hallux injuries are due to excessive foot pronation, poorly fitted shoes/high heel shoes or any trauma to the hallux.
Following are common hallux injuries/deformities:
Hallux Valgus (Bunions): is the condition that describes the deviation of the big toe towards the second toe. This deviation results in a bump developing on the inside of the base of the big toe which over time may get larger.
Hallux rigidus/Halux limitus: is a condition where there is no motion or flexibility in the big toe. This is frequently caused by walking and running biomechanical anomalies, which result in increased bone formation that restricts any big toe movement.
Sesamoid Injuries: this injury is a result of inflammation of the two small bones located under the big toe joint. This is frequently caused by repetitive loading/overuse and any acute trauma to the big toe from jumping and landing.
First MTP (Big toe) joint sprain: this injury is due to the big toe being over extended or flexed past its normal range. Commonly cause by stubbing or jarring the big toe.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Ache type pain and swelling around the big toe.
- Increase pain in big toe during and after activity.
- May alter gait when acute and severe.
- Increased tension in the lower leg and feet musculature.