The big toe joint is referred to as the “propulsive lever of the foot”. In short, this means that as our foot leaves the ground to push our bodies forward, the big toe is the structure that performs this action. Thus, it potentially absorbs more wear and tear than any other mechanical structure in our body. It would be no surprise that the great toe can be susceptible to many acute and chronic conditions, from ingrown toenails, to fractures and arthritis. Common conditions include:
- Ingrown Toenails (Paronychia) – Ingrown toenails are extremely common. What most don’t know is that an ingrown toenail can breach the skin barrier and cause an infection. Many patients will be treated by their primary doctor or go emergently to an urgent care center where they will be prescribed antibiotics. While the antibiotics may temporarily bring down the pain and swelling, it does not remove the root cause which is the offending nail border. Many suffer for years and periodically remove their own ingrown nails, with mixed results. At the Foot & Ankle Group, we can remove the ingrown nail in a way that prevents the condition from ever coming back.
- Arthritis (Hallux Limitus/Rigidus, Hallux Interphalangeal Joint arthritis)
- Bone Spurs (subungual exostosis)
- Pinch Callus
- Accessory Bone (interphalangeal sesamoid)