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Old 01-25-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
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Hallux Limitus – If it's mild, why the heck does it hurt?!

So a few months ago after starting to take long walks for relaxation/exercise, I started to get a mild ache in my toes (and simultaneously a flare-up of tendonitis in my right arch). I went to a doctor to find out I actually have Functional Hallux Limitus mildly in both feet. I'm not exactly sure what caused it – part of the reason is my feet are deformed – so says the podiatrist. I have a longer second toe and I overpronate. Anyways. It didn't hurt that much at the time, and I think it only bothered me because I was thinking about it.

It seemed to feel better (only stiff sometimes and sore) over the next few months while I waited for my custom orthotics to come in. When they did, I started wearing them per the doctor's instructions of weaning myself into them. everything's okay for about two months.

Then the other day I started walking really fast from standing still, and I felt a more intense pain in my left big toe than I'd felt before. I was wearing the orthotics and everything. It calmed down, but over the next few days I did some lunges and calf raises in normal gym shoes – only because I was too lazy to switch them.

The other day it was wet and rainy and my foot ached all day...why?!? The doctor told me I have no arthritis in the joint and I still have full ROM without weightbearing. As far as background, I'm 23 and have always been active. Dancing of every kind, gym workouts, lots of yoga, weights, walking, etc.

So if there's no spur or arthritis, why does it hurt? Could surgery do anything or would it be premature? Are there ROM exercises I should do?

I should add that I have very minor bunions – no joint space problems. Is that what's hurting?

Is there anyone else out there with FHL? Or anyone who remembers the stage? How long could you stay in it with orthotics?

 
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: Hallux Limitus – If it's mild, why the heck does it hurt?!

You know, I'd get a second opinion from a sports med ortho who is foot and ankle board certified. The bunion could be compressing the joint to the point that it's some bone on bone at times. Lots of things could be going on but when it's a joint question, I want a specialized ortho looking at it.

 
Old 01-25-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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Re: Hallux Limitus – If it's mild, why the heck does it hurt?!

Good idea. The last time I asked why it hurt, the podiatrist said it was "a little inflamed." It also gives me a clicking feeling when I walk. Any ideas why that could be? It's not all the time, but sometimes it feels like it's grinding on something.

 
Old 01-26-2012, 06:43 AM   #4
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Re: Hallux Limitus – If it's mild, why the heck does it hurt?!

I would be willing to bet you have some deterioration. Have you seen your xrays yourself? It could be bone chips or spurs...that's usually the reason.

Last edited by Titchou; 01-26-2012 at 06:44 AM.

 
Old 02-01-2012, 06:09 AM   #5
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Re: Hallux Limitus – If it's mild, why the heck does it hurt?!

I went back to the podiatrist the other day and he seemed to think there was no reason to worry, and considering there's obviously some damage along with my bunions, there's going to be pain. He said there could be a little arthritis but the "best defense" at this point is the orthotics. I told him my wishes to be "more than functional" and do 5Ks, lunges, etc. He told me to "do what you need to do" and when it gets to be a constant disabling pain, to consider surgery. He also said there's no danger in waiting to have surgery. Thoughts?

 
Old 02-01-2012, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: Hallux Limitus – If it's mild, why the heck does it hurt?!

The problem with waiting - if all you need right now is a "clean up" of the joint - is that it is degenerative. So, you could wait so long that the only recourse is fusion.

I seriously recommend a visit to a sports med ortho who is foot and ankle board certified. You don't show what city you are in so I'll give you my generic reply on how to find a good one: call the nearest major college athletic department, pro football or basketball team or professional dance company and ask who they use in your area for foot problems. Go to that one. Your whole body is balanced by your big toe so the pressure on that joint, whether you are active or not, is huge. Find the best person you can to give you an evaluation. Honestly, I love my pod - he's really good and very helpful - but he would never operate on my feet! I went to one of the best sports med foot guys in the country (past editor of the Foot and Ankle journal and has procedures named after him) for my surgeries.

 
Old 02-17-2012, 12:38 PM   #7
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Re: Hallux Limitus – If it's mild, why the heck does it hurt?!

Thanks for the info to find a good foot dr.

 
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Tags
bunion, cheilectomy, hallux limitus, hallux limitus/rigidus, surgery



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