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Monday, August 13, 2012

Hallux Rigidus: Email Advice

Dear Dr. Blake,

I am a healthy, active, physically fit  67 year old woman, who until 6 months ago walked for 5-10 miles a day, until I started having problems with my feet.  It has been diagnosed by two podiatrists here in Santa Cruz with Stage 3 Hallux Rigidus  (both feet), and both have recommended surgery.

I have tried inserts, however I am unable to walk more than 10 minutes with shoes that are enclosed because of the pain on the top of my big toes, due I assume to the bone spurs.  

I have found walking in sandals, or on the beach barefoot, allows for some pain free mobility.  However, even this limited walking causes my toes to painfully freeze up due to excruciating pain.  It feels the joint gets out of alignment.  I can stop, massage my foot, and eventually will be able to walk well enough to get back home.

This is seriously impacting the quality of my life.

Living in Santa Cruz, I can come up to San Francisco to see you.

Do you think you can help me avoid surgery?

Thank you,


Caren, I would be happy to help you. No guarantees, but it appears you have painful joints and right now need to create a painfree environment. Please read all my information on Hallux Rigidus. I would spend the next 2 months in a removable cast for one foot to help calm it down, then switch to the other side. You have had Stage 3 HR for probably 3 to 5 years, so why did it go from unknown to needing surgery over night. I would spend the next year getting them calmed down, and when you are out of pain, then decide if you want surgery. Rich I am out of the office until 8/27. Aloha!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this information. Useful post. This is great post. Keep it up.


Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.