My Big Toe Joint Hurts When I Try to Bend It!

Pain in the big toe joint can have many different causes depending on where in the joint the pain is felt.  These can include pain along the side from a bunion deformity, pain under the joint due to irritation of small bones called sesamoids, as well as medical conditions that cause joint tissue to be inflamed like gout and rheumatoid arthritis.  When the big toe simply hurts to bend, the cause often is due to arthritis of the joint (osteoarthritis).  The big toe joint receives a great deal of mechanical stress during walking.  Sometimes factors beyond our control, including the length and elevation of bone at the joint, can gradually lead to a wearing down of the joint cartilage and formation of spurring on the top and sides of the joint.  Prior joint sprains and fractures can also lead to arthritis of the big toe joint as well.

Treatment of big toe joint arthritis often requires surgery to remove spurs and reposition the bone to help the joint function better, although more advanced cases may need joint replacement or even fusion.  However, there are often less involved options for treatment, including anti-inflammatory medication and increased structural support via shoe inserts (orthotics) that can help reduce the symptoms and make the joint function better.  Our podiatrists are very experienced treating big toe joint pain and arthritis and offer a wide range of treatment options to suit your lifestyle needs and the severity of the condition.

If you suffer from pain in your big toe joint when you bend the toe, be sure to schedule an appointment with us to see what your treatment options are, and to start down the path to relief!

Hi Leticia, That is a common complaint, and it can have many causes. To start, you can look up a condition called "Hallux Limitus," or limited motion of the great toe. This is something that needs a full Podiatry examination and X-rays to determine the cause and to discuss treatment options. Good luck. Scott L. Schulman, DPM
by Dr Schulman May 4, 2021 at 10:00 AM
My toe hurts when I bend it in it also hurts in top of my foot
by Leticia May 4, 2021 at 02:11 AM
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