Injury Fact Sheet: Hallux Rigidus

By on November 13, 2012


Hallux Rigidus is a condition in which the first metatarsophalengeal (MTP) joint has little or no range of motion in dorsiflexion. Hallux rigidus may be a secondary condition as a result of MTP degenerative arthritis, cartilage wear, abnormal or malaligned joint mechanics, or osteophyte formation (commonly referred to as a bone spur). Symptoms can include joint pain, inflammation, and pain during movement.


Hallux rigidus can potentially impair the ability to dance, but there is currently no available research on treatments that might restore the full range of motion required in dance. Depending on the degree of impairment, physical therapy and joint injections may provide some relief and improved range of motion, and more serious cases may require surgery.

Of Note:

Because of the limited range of motion, a dancer with hallux rigidus is not able to fully rise to demi-pointe. To give the aesthetic that he/she is, the dancer will sometimes shift the weight over the lesser toes, “sickling” the foot. This compensatory mechanism increases the risk for a lateral ankle sprain or fifth metatarsal fracture.

** Note: Fact sheets are compiled from peer-reviewed resources, and is intended for reference only.  For a complete list of references, click here.  In the event of an injury, seek advice from a licensed health professional.  The original content of this site is protected by copyright and may be shared, but not be republished without permission.  For full disclaimers and disclosures, visit our policies.


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