Big Toe Joint Arthritis Treatment in New York, NY

23 Procedures ( View All )


Big toe joint arthritis is characterized by the wearing down of cartilage, which results in pain and stiffness in the toe joint. The big toe joint, also known as the metatarsophalangeal joint, is located at the base of the big toe. Since this joint moves every time you take a step, having arthritis can make it become painful, enlarged, and inflamed. Eventually, this can lead to limitation of motion and rigidity. When big toe arthritis starts affecting your movement and overall quality of life, it may be time to seek advanced treatment at Millennium Podiatry. At our Park Avenue location in New York, NY, Dr. Suzanne Levine and her team can identify a proper course of treatment to alleviate your pain and restore your range of motion. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule your initial consultation. 


Arthritis of the big toe joint, also known as a stiff big toe, is caused when the cartilage covering the ends of the bones in the big toe joint is worn down. Injury to the cartilage, sprains, and strains can also spark the degeneration process. As a result, the bones in the joint begin rubbing together, resulting in ongoing pain and discomfort.


Several symptoms can be associated with big toe joint arthritis, including:

  • Stiffness and pain in the big toe joint
  • Limited motion of the joint, leading to difficulty moving the big toe up and down
  • Pain that worsens with an increase in activity
  • Inflammation and swelling around the joint, caused by irritation from shoe gear
  • The top of the joint can become enlarged (dorsal bunion)

How is big toe arthritis treated?

Treatment of big toe arthritis can range from nonsurgical to surgical options, depending on the severity of your condition.

Nonsurgical Treatments:

  • Applying ice to the affected area will help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications can be prescribed to reduce pain.
  • The patient should wear shoes with a wide toe box and stiff, supportive soles.
  • Shoe inserts can help relieve pain and swelling.
  • Cortisone shots injected into the affected area may significantly reduce pain and discomfort.

Surgical Treatments:

  • Bone spur removal (Cheilectomy): When big toe arthritis is less severe, the arthritic bone spurs and any arthritic bone that gets dislodged into the joint are removed to give the big toe more room to bend. The surgery provides most patients with great results and long-term relief from the condition.
  • Fusion of the big toe joint (Arthrodesis): Fusing the bones of the big toe joint and removing the damaged cartilage around them is necessary when the condition is severe. Special devices may be inserted to keep the bones in place while they heal together. This surgery is excellent in removing the pain, but the downside is the permanent loss of motion as the big toe is locked in one place.
Big Toe Arthritis

Reduce Big Toe Pain and Stiffness

Big toe arthritis can be both painful and debilitating for those who suffer from it. Thankfully, Dr. Levine and her team at Millennium Podiatry offer numerous treatment options to restore your range of motion and alleviate your pain. To learn more and to receive a customized treatment plan, contact our New York, NY facility today. 

Related Procedures

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.