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My Big Toe Joint Hurts! The Arthritis You Never Knew!

Have you ever suspected you have arthritis in your big toe joint? It is one of those conditions that slowly creeps up on you. You may be going about your business only to notice that your big toe joint hurts! You may end up limping around for an hour or even a few days and then it disappears only to reappear when you least expect it! What’s up with this? Well, it may be plain ol’arthitis!

Arthritis in the big toe (aka: hallux) joint is known as "Hallux Limitus" or Hallux Rigidus" depending on whether it the motion in your toe is limited or not moving at all (rigid). Basically, how much arthritis you have puts you in either one of those categories. So here it how it works. Over the years, all of your joints wear down to some extent. We start to lose the cartilage, (this is the stuff covering the bones at the joint so the joint can glide smoothly). Once we have worn down enough cartilage, the bones at the joint start making bone on bone contact instead of cartilage on cartilage contact, and this causes pain. This bone on bone rubbing is not as smooth either and it limits the amount of movement at the joint. This is arthritis. As the amount of arthritis in the joint increases, the amount of pain in that joint increases as well!

How does it all start? I tell my patient that simply stubbing your toe, which most of us have done at some point or other, can accelerate the wearing down process. Many times, arthritis in the big toe joint shows up in people with other foot conditions, such as bunions, or flat feet or high arched feet simply because of how our bones line up in the feet. If they are not perfectly aligned, that joint will wear down quicker because it was not meant to work in that position.

What can be done about the pain? Once you have been diagnosed, your podiatrist will be able to tell you just how severe the arthritis in your big toe joint is and treatment will be based on that. Treatment could include anti-inflammatories, custom inserts, physical therapy, shoe alterations, padding, cortisone injections, and in the worst of cases, surgery. That being said, the sooner you see us about your big toe pain, the quicker we can slow down the damage being done to that joint and keep you moving!


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Business Team

Welcome to the Business Team at Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas. Our appointment schedulers and billing department work in tandem to assist you and your family during your FAANT experience.
Our scheduling team will complete a short appointment questionnaire that will allow us the opportunity to contact your plan prior to your visit. We will find out what type of Podiatry benefits you should expect, including your coverage limits, which we will then review with you before you are seen.
If you are a new patient, we ask that you complete our online patient forms. We also update paperwork for established patients at least once a year or upon any changes. Having the most accurate information on you and your family will help us better treat your medical conditions, and it will also allow us to process your insurance claims more efficiently.
Thank you for helping us to be more prepared for your visit. Please download our online patient forms and fax them to our confidential fax at least 48 hours prior to your visit at 817-886-3612. We ask that you arrive 20 minutes prior to your visit with your insurance and identification cards; we will scan each card to validate your electronic health record. Please allow for ample time to check in with our team in order to help prevent your appointment being delayed or even rescheduled.
We invite you to bring your socks and athletic/dress shoes along with a list of prepared questions. For a list of sample questions visit http://www.ahrq.gov/questionsaretheanswer/ You may also visit our business office library, where you can view frequently asked questions, insurance contract list and become even more familiar with our office.