Hallux rigidus is the medical term for stiffness in the first joint of the big toe, where it attaches to the foot. Hallux (big toe) rigidus (rigid state) is a degenerative joint disease and typically results from osteoarthritis (see more in our article on osteoarthritis of the big toe). However, it can also be caused by inflammatory joint diseases such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or from trauma to the toe.
Over time, the smooth cartilage of the toe gets worn down and the rough edges of bone are left to rub against one another. Hallux rigidus is sometimes referred to as a “frozen” joint because it causes a loss in mobility.« Back to Glossary Index