Surgery is recommended for hallux rigidus if more conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief, explains Cleveland Clinic. Initial care typically involves wearing shoes with wide toe boxes, avoiding high heels, using shoe pads and taking ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients also steer clear of high-impact activities.
If the toe does not respond to early treatment, surgical intervention is typically needed, according to Cleveland Clinic. In a cheilectomy, bone spurs and part of the foot bone are removed to open up space for the toe, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports. In serious cases, surgeons fuse bones together through arthrodesis. After the operation, the toe does not bend, but pain is gone. Older patients sometimes receive arthroplasties, or joint replacements.