Tuesday, 23 May 2023 00:00

Arthritis of the Big Toe

Osteoarthritis, or OA, can affect the base of the big toe and cause significant pain. This type of arthritis occurs when joints wear down, and bones become exposed and rub against each other. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and a limited range of motion. Walking may become difficult, and neuropathy can develop as OA of the big toe worsens. As with many other foot conditions, pain with big toe arthritis is often worse after periods of inactivity. Sometimes a reactive bone process can happen with OA, where the body will attempt to repair itself by growing more bone. Bony protrusions, called spurs, can then grow on the joint, which heightens pain, causes the toe to stiffen, and can lead to a visible bump or callus on the toe. If you suffer from OA of the big toe, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist, who can provide options for relief.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking


In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.


Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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