What Causes Big Toe Joint Arthritis?

Last updated: 07-11-2020

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What Causes Big Toe Joint Arthritis?

Are you dealing with nagging pain in your big toe, or does it seem like your toe joint is starting to bend upwards a little? If this sounds like you, there’s a chance you’re dealing with arthritis of the toe joint. Left untreated, it will become more painful and you’ll lose some range of motion in the joint. But in order to prevent the condition, we have to first learn what causes it. Today, we take a closer look at the causes of big toe joint arthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the Big Toe

The most common type of arthritis that affects a person’s big toe is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is categorized as a degeneration of articular cartilage in the toe joint, and it can set in for a number of different reasons. Some common causes of arthritic degeneration of the big toe joint include:

Acute Trauma – Acute trauma like a toe fracture or dislocation can damage vital structures in the joint and lead to its degeneration.

Related Foot Condition – Certain genetic conditions or gait problems can affect the way pressure is distributed to the joint, causing it to break down quicker.

Age – Over the years, our toes experience minute trauma with each step we take. That takes a toll on our feet over the decades, and eventually can lead to joint inflammation and arthritis.

Bone Spurs – Bone spurs aren’t all that common in the toe, but if they irritate the toe joint, it can lead to a breakdown of healthy tissue and the onset of osteoarthritis.
Big Toe Joint Replacement Surgery

If you’re experiencing pain, a grinding sensation, stiffness or swelling in your big toe joint, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a form of arthritis in your toe. If this sounds like you, head in to a foot specialist’s office. If the damage is mild, your doctor can walk you through conservative care options that will help prevent the condition from getting worse. There is no way to reverse the damage from arthritis, but you can maintain range of motion and control pain by actively working to strengthen the joint.

If damage is severe or it’s compromising the integrity of the joint, surgery may be your best option. At Silverman Ankle & Foot, we offer big toe joint replacement surgery with the Cartiva implant. You can read more about the implant by clicking here, but essentially the durable implant mimics the natural function of the joint. The implant can help get rid of pain in the area, and it can help increase your flexion ability if the damage was severely inhibiting your ability to bend your toe.

Dr. Silverman is happy to offer the Cartiva implant at his clinic, and if you’d like to learn more about the exact surgery, reach out to him in the message box below. We’re working on shooting some video of the surgical process, so hopefully we’ll have those videos in the not so distant future so you can get a firsthand look of the procedure.


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