Hallux Rigidus, Grin and bear it or have the op ?

Hallux Rigidus and the Cheilectomy Operation

Over the past few years I have in the course of my training as reservist been involved in some arduous endurance training involving the carrying weight for extended periods. I do not know if this has been the cause of the condition I have developed or whether it’s a case of genetic bad luck.

Regardless of the cause, I have been diagnosed with Hallux Rigidus (or stiff great toe) which I understand is an arthritic condition. The pain around the joint can when conducting TABS over rough terrain become fairly uncomfortable especially when it seems to cause inflamed sesimoids as well. Crossing rocky terrain (especially river beds with boots on)can be excruciating on the balls of my feet as a result.

I’m taking a break from the more arduous stuff for the moment, but I’m keen to remain at a good level of fitness. I am running a marathon (with endurance life) later this year to see how I get on. To be honest running doesn’t really hurt as much as I don’t bend my toe as much as walking. I can still cope with CFTs but I can’t do them in step, I prefer, where possible, to hang on the back and do the shuffle thing the whole way.

I have been to see an orthopaedic surgeon who has suggested a Cheilectomy (shaving off the arthritic spurs). I’ve put the operation off though as I’m concerned the risk of my condition worsening outweighs the likely benefits of having it done right now. Generally opinions on internet blogs concerning endurance athletes seem divided on the pros and cons of having the operation done. I’d just be really interested to hear from anyone who has had experience of this particularly those with an infantry background. I’d be additionally grateful for any medical advice from any medical professionals who may read this. In short the basic question is how can I manage this so I that I can continue to function effectively in the course of my military training as a reservist ?
Hi, my wife, who runs every day had the op. The big toe is now solid and will not bend at all. She had fair bit of orthotic (if that is where they put your foot in soft stuff then make a shoe footbed)treatment, all on the NHS but she had to push for that. Her arthritus in the toe was bad and she had possibly broken it in the past.It hasn't been a great success, her surgeon was a chap called Mr. Rauh who operated out of Salisbury hospital. He seems to know his stuff. I'd geta 2nd opinion, have you tried all the physio routes? Good luck Headgash.
Headgash, thanks for the reply. A new pair of orthotics and stiffer shoes all round, unless it becomes unbearable, would seem to be the sensible option. I've still got about 15-20 degrees of movement at the moment so unless I hear any thing completely revolutionary I think I'll wait it out and keep the brufen handy. I'm sorry to hear about your wife's situation, is she still able to run despite the less than satisfactory outcome?
Yeah she still runs, not so quick and not able to sprint (she can still have me on distance but I'm mustard at short bursts! he he ).
Sounds good, have the op after all other possibilities have been exhausted. Good luck, if I can assist any more give me a pm.
Cheers Headgash.
I have this, had a seroid injection that worked for about 3 months, now have another set of orthotics but still in pain. Not when running but afterwards, when walking on uneven ground and when I try to wear heels (I am a bird btw). Not sure where to go next. I am a reg so all treatment is covered but the foot man seems really keen to fix it with orthotics but it doesn't seem to be working. Keep us informed.
Hi, I reckon to contact a specialist, the best you can find if you can afford it, the op wouldn't be that dear to go private. I thought Mr. Rauh the specialist guy in Salisbury was good, no bullshit and very honest about recovery, future problems etc. Cheers.

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