Book Now


March 31, 2024

What is Big Toe Joint Arthritis?

big toe joint arthritis

Foot and toe arthritis is a medical problem that involves the joints. This painful condition involving one or more joints can be caused by normal aging or “wear and tear,” by an injury, or by inflammatory diseases (gout, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.). The most common joint associated with foot arthritis is the first big toe joint.

From sports injuries (turf toe) to genetic flat foot deformities, this joint has the highest incidence of arthritis. Patient symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and redness, all from the “joint jamming” and cartilage degeneration.

The pain is characterized as dull to sharp with the first few steps in the morning and also in the evening after increased activities or with minor relief as it is “warmed up” during light walking and massage.

Plan My Visit

How We Treat Big Toe Joint Arthritis

Depending on the severity of the issue, the patient’s lifestyle and medical history, and other factors, big toe joint arthritis can be treated using conservative treatment or surgical treatment.

Conservative Big Toe Joint Arthritis Treatment Options


Oral anti-inflammatory medication can assist with easing chronic pain, but should not be considered as a permanent treatment for acute pain associated with arthritis.

Orthotics/Arch Support

Temporary arch supports, supportive athletic shoes, and custom-molded orthotic inserts are a great way to reduce the number of forces and excessive motion in the involved joints.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy practices such as massage, cold therapy, contrast baths, stretching, ultrasound, and electric stimulation can all help ease the pain and treat big toe joint arthritis.

Cortisone Injections

Anti-inflammatory medication can be injected directly into the joint where it can be most effective without becoming a problem to the rest of the body. These injections can be administered with very minimal discomfort.

Plan My Visit

Surgical Treatment for Big Toe Joint Arthritis

Big Toe Joint Preservation

During the surgical procedure for big toe joint preservation, detached cartilage is removed and the remaining bone is debrided or drilled to promote new cartilage growth. Additional joint decompression osteotomy, or shortening, to prevent joint jamming and increase range of motion.

The surgery is performed at an outpatient center or hospital facility with sedation and/or general anesthesia. Patients should be non-weight-bearing while wearing a removable CAM (controlled ankle motion) walker boot placing stabilizing pressure on the heel until the sutures are removed after 2 weeks.

Patients should follow an additional non-weight-bearing instruction for 2 more weeks, followed by partial weight-bearing and a gradual return to full weight-bearing with a supportive shoe in 4-6 weeks.

Big Toe Joint Replacement/Fusion

Detached cartilage is removed and the remaining bone is debrided or drilled to promote bone fusion with an internal plate and screws. Joint fusion is a permanent procedure, although reversal and joint replacement is possible for some fusion patients with poor outcomes.

The surgery is performed at an outpatient center or hospital facility with sedation and/or general anesthesia. Patients should not bear weight and use a removable CAM walker boot to add pressure on the heel until the sutures are removed at 2 weeks. Patients can weight bear at 2-3 weeks with the total joint implant.

Patients with the joint fusion procedure should allow for non-weight-bearing for 6 weeks, followed by partial weight-bearing and gradual return to full weight-bearing with a supportive shoe in 8-12 weeks.

Plan My Visit

Insurance Coverage for Big Toe Joint Pain/Arthritis

Navigating the complexities of insurance coverage for big toe joint pain/arthritis can be daunting. However, at Modern Foot & Ankle, we strive to simplify this process for our patients. We accept a wide range of insurance plans, understanding that coverage is crucial for the timely and effective treatment of foot conditions.

Our team is dedicated to verifying your benefits and ensuring you understand your coverage details before proceeding with treatment. For a comprehensive list of accepted insurance providers and more details on insurance coverage, please visit our insurance page.

Why Choose Us

Choosing the right care for big toe arthritis and related toe joint pain is essential. At Modern Foot & Ankle, we pride ourselves on offering specialized, patient-centered care that sets us apart.

Expert Team

Our team of specialists is highly experienced in diagnosing and treating a wide range of foot conditions, including big toe joint pain and arthritis. Their expertise ensures the most effective treatment plans tailored to individual needs.

State-of-the-Art Treatments

We utilize the latest medical advancements to relieve pain and reduce pain, from conservative methods like shoe inserts to surgical treatment options like joint replacement surgery and joint fusion.

Personalized Care Plans

Understanding that each case of big toe pain and joint pain is unique, we offer personalized care plans designed to reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance quality of life.

Comprehensive Services

From initial consultation to post-treatment care, our comprehensive services ensure continuous support. Visit our services page for extensive resources on big toe arthritis, hallux rigidus, and other conditions.

Cutting-edge Facilities

Our clinics are equipped with modern facilities and technology to diagnose and treat toe joint pain effectively, ensuring comfort and convenience for our patients.

Insurance Assistance

We provide detailed assistance with insurance coverage, making it easier for patients to receive the care they need without financial stress.

Education and Support

Empowering our patients through education about their condition, including the causes of stiff big toe and big toe bone spur issues, is a priority. We offer guidance on the prevention and long-term management of foot health.

In Summary

  1. Big Toe Joint Pain/Arthritis is a prevalent condition affecting many individuals, leading to symptoms like pain, stiffness, and swelling in the big toe.
  2. Treatment options range from conservative methods such as medication, orthotics, and physical therapy, to surgical interventions like joint preservation, joint replacement surgery, and joint fusion.
  3. The cause of big toe joint pain can vary, including arthritis, turf toe, hallux rigidus, and bone spurs.
  4. Modern Foot & Ankle is committed to providing comprehensive care, from diagnosing severe joint space narrowing to offering surgical treatment and shoe inserts to relieve pain and reduce pain.
  5. With a focus on personalized care, state-of-the-art treatments, and extensive insurance coverage, we are dedicated to helping our patients navigate their journey to recovery.

The information on our website is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. For any health-related concerns, we strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please note that any reliance on the information found on our site is solely at your own risk. For more details, please see our Medical Disclaimer.


Haven’t found what you’re looking for?
We're here for you. Get in touch with us.


How do you fix arthritis in your big toe?

Arthritis in the big toe can be managed with orthotics, medication, physical therapy, and cortisone injections. Severe cases may require surgical intervention, such as joint preservation, replacement, or fusion.

What is end-stage arthritis in the big toe?

End-stage arthritis, or hallux rigidus, is characterized by significant joint damage, severe pain, and limited mobility, often necessitating surgical treatment for relief.

What is the surgery for arthritic big toe?

Surgical options include joint preservation to remove damaged cartilage, joint replacement with an artificial implant, or joint fusion to relieve pain by permanently fusing the joint bones.

Does physical therapy help arthritis in the big toe?

Physical therapy can alleviate arthritis symptoms in the big toe through massage, stretching, and other treatments, although its effectiveness varies with the condition's severity.

What is the new treatment for big toe arthritis?

New treatments involve minimally invasive surgeries and advanced joint replacement materials designed to preserve natural movement and improve patient outcomes.

More FAQs

Local Podiatrists specializing in Big Toe Joint Arthritis

Office Map
Filter By Region
Palm Beach
Portrait of Dr. Adam Siegel, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in sports medicine and diabetic limb salvage

Dr. Adam Siegel

His advanced training and diverse technology background equip him to provide top-tier care across a broad range of foot and ankle conditions.

Portrait of Dr. Michael Zuri, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in sports injuries and endoscopic plantar fasciotomies for heel pain

Dr. Michael Zuri

Renowned for treating sports injuries and heel pain, with a focus on diabetic foot care. His patient-centered approach ensures a positive care experience.

Portrait of Dr. Roma Patel, a female Board Certified Podiatrist in Orlando, specializing in sports podiatry and diabetic foot care

Dr. Roma Patel

Her approach is rooted in compassion and personalized attention for each patient, embracing an individualized treatment plan for a broad range of foot and ankle conditions.

Headshot of Dr. Steven Baker, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, known for his expertise in orthotic management and sports injuries of the lower extremity

Dr. Steven Baker

Esteemed podiatrist with decades of experience, transitioning from surgery to non-surgical therapies. Known for his caring and friendly approach.

Close-up image of Dr. Jacob Huffman, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Orlando, known for his expertise in sports medicine and minimally-invasive surgeries

Dr. Jacob Huffman

Expert in sports medicine and minimally-invasive surgeries, with a distinct honor in clinical excellence. His knowledge-driven ideology ensures optimal patient outcomes.

Close-up image of Dr. Kyle Haverstrom, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, renowned for his expertise in minimally invasive procedures and sports medicine

Dr. Kyle Haverstrom

Highly skilled in minimally-invasive procedures, trauma, and sports medicine. Known for his strong surgical skills and talent for diabetic limb salvage.

Close-up image of Dr. Sagar Shah, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, known for his expertise in sports injuries and wound therapy

Dr. Sagar Shah

Expert in sports injuries, pediatric care, and wound therapy. Committed to advancing clinical expertise through understanding patient lifestyles and health.

Close-up image of Dr. Ryan Haaksma, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, recognized for his work in minimally-invasive procedures and diabetic limb salvage

Dr. Ryan Haaksma

Advanced training in minimally-invasive procedures and sports medicine. His dedication ensures new techniques in surgical intervention.

Close-up image of Dr. Tamara Nemeroff, a female Board Certified Podiatrist in Jupiter, recognized for her work in sports medicine and diabetic limb salvage
Palm Beach

Dr. Tamara Nemeroff

Skilled in sports medicine, diabetic limb salvage, and reconstructive surgery. Now accepting Patients at our Jupiter Location.

Headshot of Dr. Patrick Derby, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in reconstructive surgery and wound care

Dr. Patrick Derby

Skilled in reconstructive surgery and wound care, with a focus on diabetic limb salvage. His principle: making a uniquely positive impact on each patient.

Headshot of Dr. Todd Talbert, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Orlando, known for his expertise in sports medicine and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery

Dr. Todd Talbert

Specializes in sports medicine, trauma, and reconstructive surgery. Known for compassionate care and training surgical residents in reconstructive surgery.

Portrait of Dr. Dean Sorrento, a male podiatrist in Orlando, recognized for his contributions to sports medicine and diabetic care.

Dr. Dean Sorrento

Excels in advanced nerve decompression and sports medicine. His teaching background enhances patient understanding and care.

Portrait of Dr. Vanisaben Patel, a female podiatrist in Orlando, known for her focus on pediatric podiatry and limb salvage.

Dr. Vanisaben Patel

Expertise in reconstructive surgery, sports medicine, and diabetic wound care. Her patient-centric, collaborative approach ensures optimal outcomes.

Portrait of Dr. Jalpen Patel, a male podiatrist in Orlando, specializing in minimally-invasive procedures and diabetic limb salvage.

Dr. Jalpen Patel

Dr. Patel's specialized training and patient-centered approach uniquely position him to offer exceptional care across a wide spectrum of foot and ankle conditions.

Portrait of Dr. Kristina Sikar, a female podiatrist in Orlando, renowned for her work in cosmetic foot surgery and sports medicine.

Dr. Kristina Sikar

Skilled in cosmetic foot and ankle surgery, wound care, and sports medicine, Dr. Sikar's patient-focused, holistic treatment plans are designed for optimal health outcomes.

Image of Dr. Trevor Baddaloo, a Orlando, FL-based board-certified Podiatrist, recognized for his personalized care in sports medicine and minimally-invasive surgical techniques.

Dr. Trevor Baddaloo

Dr. Baddaloo is renowned for his holistic and patient-focused care, skilled in sports medicine, podiatric surgery, and ensuring optimal health outcomes.

Portrait of Dr. Donald Adamov, a board-certified Podiatric Surgeon in Spring Hill, celebrated for his innovative approach to minimally-invasive foot surgeries and expertise in diabetic foot care.

Dr. Donald Adamov

Skilled in minimally-invasive bunion correction and advanced wound care, he provides individualized treatment for all conditions to achieve the best outcome.

Portrait of Dr. Melissa Prutch, a female Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in surgery & limb salvage.

Dr. Melissa Prutch

Comprehensive expertise in podiatric surgery and wound care. Dedicated to a patient-first, holistic approach for superior health results.

Dr. Moore, a Spring, Texas-based board-certified Podiatrist, known for comprehensive care in all foot and ankle conditions with a focus on advanced surgical methods.

Dr. Robert J. Moore III

Wide-ranging expertise in foot and ankle care, with a focus on surgery and wound management. Committed to patient-centered, holistic care.

We are in-network with all major insurance plans.

Find My Plan

What to Expect

Medical professional in blue scrubs engaging with a female patient, using a tablet to explain or discuss health details. The patient listens attentively, reflecting a positive doctor-patient rapport.

Comfortable Offices

From the tranquil waiting area to the warm, inviting treatment rooms, you can be sure you'll have a pleasant experience.

Friendly Staff

We take great pride in providing a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for all and strive to make your experience as pleasant as possible.

Easy Booking

Conveniently book online with our 24/7 booking system, or schedule an appointment via text message.

Additional Podiatry Services

All Services

Hammertoe Straightening

Our podiatrists can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with hammertoes, using both conservative and surgical methods.

Arthritic Conditions

Our podiatrists can help manage the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis of the feet and ankles.

Diabetic Foot Care

Our podiatrists specialize in caring for diabetic feet, providing routine foot care, wound care, and education to help prevent complications.

Hassle-Free Appointments

Book Online Today

Find the earliest availability of your local podiatrist and book instantly.
Book Now

Why Patients Choose Modern

  • For comprehensive consultations
  • To receive prompt, effective treatment
  • To ensure seamless recovery between care stages
  • To find comfort in their everyday
In a pristine clinical setting, a medical expert donning blue attire shares insightful information using a tablet, eliciting a thoughtful expression from the relaxed patient in the ergonomic chair. The atmosphere is one of trust and professional dedication.

Book An Appointment Today

Get back on your feet and live the lifestyle you want to live.

New patients welcome, same-day appointments available.

Plan My Visit
Book Now Button