Big toe arthritis is considered as a debilitating condition especially in the advanced phases. The condition is the result of erosion on the articular cartilage and the development of bone spurs. The affected joint becomes stiff or rigid and the symptoms wax and wane or even become continuous.
Many individuals might alleviate the symptoms with a few simple measures and as the symptoms progress, the invasive measures are required. It is important to note that big toe arthritis often becomes inevitable if the symptoms progress or when the supportive treatments are not effective.
Common treatment for big toe arthritis
Since daily walking can strain on the big toe joint, anti-inflammatory medications are a vital component of treatment. The medication will not reverse or cease the progression of arthritis, but can alleviate the symptoms.
In most cases, many respond well to these medications. Nevertheless, the effects seem to diminish as the arthritis progresses.
The administration of a strong anti-inflammatory such as cortisone directly into the big toe joint can have a powerful effect in reducing the symptoms. Take note that the effect can deliver a sustained phase of relief from the pain. Nevertheless, the injections directly into the joint must be used carefully since they can further lead to progression of arthritis.
Removal of bone spurs
Oftentimes, big toe arthritis develops movement limiting bony growths on the upper part of the joint and this is a natural mechanism in which the body tries to auto-fuse the joint. These bony growths are often painful if direct pressure is applied by the shoes used.
Surgery to eliminate the bone spurs can cause a big impact on the symptoms and drastically minimize the pain. The bone spurs can grow back after some time and the procedure might be repeated depending on the symptoms.
Fusion of the big toe joint
In the advanced stages of big toe arthritis in which the joint is considered in a state of non-repair, it can be managed with surgery that involves fusion of the joint. The fusion of the big toe joint can permanently cure the pain. Nevertheless, it comes at the expense of not being able to move the affected joint. In most circumstances, the individual might opt to undergo this procedure when the joint is almost motionless and therefore, not affected by the fusion.