An estimated 40% of the US population have foot problems.Of all patients aged over 50 years, 2.5% report degenerative arthritis of the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, termed 'hallux rigidus'. First MTP osteoarthritis is the most common arthritic condition in the foot.Progression of great toe arthritis is associated with pain and loss of motion. Non-surgical intervention begins with shoe modifications and orthotics designed to limit MTP motion.In patients with mild arthritis, operative procedures focus on removing excess osteophytes (cheilectomy) to prevent dorsal impingement with or without a concomitant osteotomy (Moberg) to improve or shift range of motion into a less painful arc.In patients with more advanced arthritis, operative management has centred on arthrodesis of the first MTP joint.A recent Level 1 study shows excellent function and pain relief with a small hydrogel hemi-implant into the metatarsal headMultiple joint-sparing procedures such as joint arthroplasty or resurfacing have been described with inconsistent results. Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2017;2:13-20. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.2.160031.
Keywords: arthrodesis; great toe arthritis; hemi-arthroplasty; hydrogel, hallux rigidus.