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Bone Spur in the Big Toe: Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis

What is a Bone Spur in the Big Toe?

The MTP joint or the metatarsophalangeal joint in the foot is located at the base of the big toe. This spot is the most common site for arthritis. This joint is very important since only when this joint bends you can take a step. Since every time the MTP joint bends when you are taking a step, walking will become very difficult if this joint becomes painful and you find difficulty in bending this joint.

Like every other joint of the body, the MTP joint is covered by a circular smooth cartilage where the two bones meet. In case of any kind of damage that has occurred in this cartilage like wear and tear of the articular cartilage, the bone ends tend to rub together. This raw bone ends rubbing together lead to the formation of an outgrowth on the bone which is identified as bone spurs. The bone spur in the big toe not only develops difficulty in walking but also causes pain while you try to bend your toe, hallux rigidus. This causes tremendous stress to the joint (occurring in human between the age 30 and 60) and damages the bones leading to creation of differences in foot anatomy.

What is a Bone Spur in the Big Toe?

What are the Symptoms of Bone Spur in the Big Toe?

The following are the symptoms of bone spur in the big toe:

  • While you are walking, you need to push off your toe to take a step forward and bone spur in the big toe will lead to tremendous pain you are actively trying to move
  • Development of inflammation and swelling around the joint
  • A callus, a bump or a bunion is often found to be growing on the top of the foot.
  • Your big toe turning rigid and stiff enough that you will be unable to bend it even.

How is Bone Spur in the Big Toe Diagnosed?

When you are walking if you find that you have developed a pain in your toe due to which you are finding difficulty to walk and therefore walking on the outside of your foot, you need to visit a doctor immediately. Hallux rigidus or stiffness of the joint in the big toe is easier to be treated and cured if identified at the early stage. If you neglect the pain and only after a bony bump has visibly grown on the top of your foot you choose to seek help then the bone spur in the big toe has already developed and the condition has spread enough to make the treatment more difficult. In order to diagnose the cause of the pain in your toe, your physicians will look for evidence confirming in as bone spur. Firstly your doctor will move around your toe to find out how much your toe can be brought to motion without causing any pain to you. Then X-Ray reports will confirm the location of the bone spur. The size of a bone spur as found from the X-Ray report will further tell the doctor about the degree of degeneration in the cartilage and the space when the two bones join.

What Is The Treatment For Bone Spur In The Big Toe?

  • Using anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers to ease the pain caused due to a bone spur in big toe.
  • Undergoing a contrast bath (placing your foot for 30 seconds in hot and cold alternatively, immediately shifting from hot to cold or vice versa) thrice a day to bring down the inflammation.
  • Wearing a shoe which makes your toes and your feet conformable and giving up wearing heels.
  • Surgery to remove the bone as well as a portion of the bone so that there is enough room built for the toe to bend again easily.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2023

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