Updated: Sep 29, 2019
Cause: Hereditary, trauma, overuse
Appearance: Swollen, painful big toe joint, in some cases there can be a bump on the top and/or side of the joint, pain with motion of the joint or pain at “ push off” when walking.
How to diagnose: X-ray, MRI, CT scan
- Anti inflammatories ( topical or oral), orthotics, more supportive shoes. Injections of cortisone can be helpful but should be used sparingly due to the risk of cartilage injury if overused.
- Surgery is indicated when conservative care fails and can be as simple as cleaning the joint out to as complicated as a fusion.
In our opinion, joint replacement is not yet indicated for tennis players/ athletes.
Long-term prognosis: Unfortunately, arthritis is a lifelong battle for most who suffer from it, this does not mean though that it has to be lifelong pain. An arthritic joint does not have to be a painful one. Continuous motion will prevent the joint from stiffening. Over the counter pain creams/gel can help. Surgery is indicated when conservative care fails and this can be curative if fusion is elected – if there is no joint their cant be any arthritis. Cleaning out the joint can be curative, or it can be a tool for buying time.
Who to call: Podiatrist, orthopedic surgeon, rheumatologist