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Hallux Rigidus/Arthritis in Big Toe Joint. Recs? (golf shoes, taping methods, etc.)


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I was recently diagnosed with stage 2 hallux rigidus (arthritis/golfers toe) in my right big toe joint. I'm only 29 and very surprised its happening this early but I guess the years of aggressive golf swings have caught up to me. In any event, I want to do whatever I can now to buy as much time as I can. I've begun using orthotics in my golf shoes and i've been taping my toe/foot prior to a round to limit as much joint motion as I can. These items help but I still feel pain on 2-3 swings off the tee during my round and typically end a round with quite a bit of soreness in the joint. Clearly, as I continue to play rounds with pain the problem is only going to progress more and more quickly. To anyone out there that has this issue - what has worked for you? What golf shoes can you recommend?

 

Also, not that this is imminent but I'm curious if anyone has had cleilectomy surgery and whether or not you were able to return to the sport pain free?

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For everyday, buy shoes with toe boxes as tall as you can find..e.g. crocs chef shoes. If you're wearing loafers or some type of wingtip to work, start looking for something else. At the very least, get a larger and wider size. Your toes need room to move.

I haven't found a good golf shoe yet. Stay away from "traditional" golf shoes like the FJ Icons. Get something soft and flexible. Again, get a larger and wider size than you normally wear.

Get the surgery done and do all the physical therapy you can.

As with almost any serious injury, you may never heal as good as new but you can get much better than you are now.

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[quote name='dukeman' timestamp='1408320999' post='9953719']
For everyday, buy shoes with toe boxes as tall as you can find..e.g. crocs chef shoes. If you're wearing loafers or some type of wingtip to work, start looking for something else. At the very least, get a larger and wider size. Your toes need room to move.

I haven't found a good golf shoe yet. Stay away from "traditional" golf shoes like the FJ Icons. Get something soft and flexible. Again, get a larger and wider size than you normally wear.

Get the surgery done and do all the physical therapy you can.

As with almost any serious injury, you may never heal as good as new but you can get much better than you are now.
[/quote]

Soft and flexible is the opposite of what you want in a shoe. And surgery is a last resort and not something to be encouraged.

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Mine was so far gone that last summer I had metatarsal fusion rather than [color=#282828] [/color][color=#282828]cleilectomy. I was 44 and think I accelerated the arthritis some years ago by badly stubbing my toe on the stairs. The joint now no longer moves and is totally pain free. I missed about 8 weeks or so of golf and started playing again in an air cast and went round in a cart, got some funny looks but was desperate to get back out there. I wear normal footjoys half a size bigger and can walk 18 no problem at all, playing my best golf this summer. Only downside of the surgery was 12 weeks off work with foot up watching daytime TV and that I can't wear high heels anymore!! :swoon:[/color]

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I have suffered with Hallux Rigidus in both feet for the last 15+ years. I have been to 5 different Podiatrists and a Orthopaedic surgeon. The Podatirists all had different solutions; one wanted to do a Kellner procedure, one wanted to insert a joint implant and two wanted to perform bone fusion.

The surgeon asked me what I was currently doing. Told him I was using Orthotics and dealing with the discomfort. He advised if I can deal with it in this manner to continue doing so as no procedure will be totally pain free and none are reversible.

Good luck. I wear Footjoy Contours, take out their insole and put in my full length Orthotics. I can walk 18 somedays with more discomfort than others.

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I started developing this a couple of years ago. Thankfully the pain is not too much that I can't golf or walk properly, but I get a shot of pain 2-3 times a round when I go after a drive. The pain isn't really bad but I have limited range of motion in the joint and I'm sure it will get worse as time goes on (I'm 44 now).

I strongly believe my condition was caused by badly stubbing my right toe about 4 years ago at a swimming pool. There was a step I missed and slammed my bare toe into the concrete. The toenail when black and blue and then fell off. Crazy that this condition can be caused by stubbing your toe.

Thankfully, I'm not much interested in the super flexible and light shoes like the FJ DNA. I use DryJoy Tour's and it provides enough stability to minimize pain.

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[quote name='502 to Right' timestamp='1408378133' post='9957155']
I started developing this a couple of years ago. Thankfully the pain is not too much that I can't golf or walk properly, but I get a shot of pain 2-3 times a round when I go after a drive. The pain isn't really bad but I have limited range of motion in the joint and I'm sure it will get worse as time goes on (I'm 44 now).

I strongly believe my condition was caused by badly stubbing my right toe about 4 years ago at a swimming pool. There was a step I missed and slammed my bare toe into the concrete. The toenail when black and blue and then fell off. Crazy that this condition can be caused by stubbing your toe.

Thankfully, I'm not much interested in the super flexible and light shoes like the FJ DNA. I use DryJoy Tour's and it provides enough stability to minimize pain.
[/quote]

Your present situation seems to be similar to mine in that its not preventing you from playing but is a nuisance. I this point I'm just trying to buy as much time as I can. Is there anything else you've done besides the golf shoes that has helped? Maybe certain taping methods or changes you've made in your non-golf life to keep you as fresh as possible for 18.

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[quote name='jloughlin84' timestamp='1408405599' post='9959829']
[quote name='502 to Right' timestamp='1408378133' post='9957155']
I started developing this a couple of years ago. Thankfully the pain is not too much that I can't golf or walk properly, but I get a shot of pain 2-3 times a round when I go after a drive. The pain isn't really bad but I have limited range of motion in the joint and I'm sure it will get worse as time goes on (I'm 44 now).

I strongly believe my condition was caused by badly stubbing my right toe about 4 years ago at a swimming pool. There was a step I missed and slammed my bare toe into the concrete. The toenail when black and blue and then fell off. Crazy that this condition can be caused by stubbing your toe.

Thankfully, I'm not much interested in the super flexible and light shoes like the FJ DNA. I use DryJoy Tour's and it provides enough stability to minimize pain.
[/quote]

Your present situation seems to be similar to mine in that its not preventing you from playing but is a nuisance. I this point I'm just trying to buy as much time as I can. Is there anything else you've done besides the golf shoes that has helped? Maybe certain taping methods or changes you've made in your non-golf life to keep you as fresh as possible for 18.
[/quote]

I don't thinking taping is necessary. Just find a shoe that is fairly substantial in weight and flex. You can look into orthotics as well that are very stiff and minimize flexing.

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  • 1 year later...

I am 27 years old and for the past 4-5 years have experienced great pain in my right big toe joint. I played golf in high school and was on full scholarship in college so after walking 18-36 holes everyday and that many swings day after day i have pretty substantial pain. Now after 18 holes even when riding i have to take tylenol. Wish there was some way to fix this. The only thing that has helped me out is switching shoes. I have worn footjoy classics/icons my entire life. I have recently switched to DNA's and can tell a difference!

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I was recently diagnosed with stage 2 hallux rigidus (arthritis/golfers toe) in my right big toe joint. I'm only 29 and very surprised its happening this early but I guess the years of aggressive golf swings have caught up to me. In any event, I want to do whatever I can now to buy as much time as I can. I've begun using orthotics in my golf shoes and i've been taping my toe/foot prior to a round to limit as much joint motion as I can. These items help but I still feel pain on 2-3 swings off the tee during my round and typically end a round with quite a bit of soreness in the joint. Clearly, as I continue to play rounds with pain the problem is only going to progress more and more quickly. To anyone out there that has this issue - what has worked for you? What golf shoes can you recommend?

 

Also, not that this is imminent but I'm curious if anyone has had cleilectomy surgery and whether or not you were able to return to the sport pain free?

 

Get cheilectomy now before it becomes stage 3 like mine. at that point your only option will be fusion.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm getting this procedure done in two days. I've been losing flex in my right big toe for several years. Thankfully, the x-ray shows that the cartilage is likely in decent shape and I just need to have the top of the joint shaved down to allow the toe to flex again. But I won't know for sure until it gets opened up. I'm looking forward to starting rehab so I can start running again and working out more than I've been able to in the last few years.

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My HR kicked in at around 39 yo. Get custom made orthotics from a good podiatrist. My first custom made orthotics didn't do the trick so the foot doctor had the lab tweak them and it helped a lot. I now feel I can put off the cheilectomy indefinitely. Also, I don't walk courses anymore, I ride. The uneven terrain was murder on my toes. And get shoes with a wide toe box. I use 4X wide. Without the HR I would wear a normal width shoe. Good luck.

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  • 2 years later...

If you do decide to do surgery the only viable options are either joint replacement via a Swanson double stem silastic implant or joint fusion. Cheilectomy is not a good option. Neither is joint decompression osteotomy. Most times patients have a revision surgery via one of the two procedures I previously mentioned within a few years. The mainstays of conservative treatment are custom-made orthotics that are rigid and anti-inflammatory medicines whether it be steroidal or nonsteroidal in nature, activity modification, etc. As with anything, how good your results are are largely dependent upon how meticulous your surgeon is and if he has recommended the correct procedure for you. PM me if you would like for more specific advice.

$$$$

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I'm pretty much the same as you. Same age, but I found out at age 30. I think eventually I will be having some permanent arthritis in that stupid toe joint. Pretty sure I'm tearing up that cartilage and deforming that joint a little every time it attacks. And yeah, the guy who said you don't want it to move around! If you have had a painful toe joint before you would know. Tight fitting shoes that restrict the movement will make the joint more irritated and swelling against the tight fit is a recipe for more swelling and more pain.

OP, my suggestion is if you must play though the arthritis because you have got the bug, then yeah for sure use those big ugly shoes, take the cart, and swing easy. Otherwise I'd seriously explore all surgery options as I doubt this will get better with rest. I would think if you fix this sooner the chances of a better recovery are better?

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  • 4 months later...

This is a repost of something I did in another thread, for the benefit of future sufferers. I have hallux limitus in my right big toe. It's not bad enough to operate on yet.

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I flat out love the shoes I got from LaRossa Shoe Repair. http://www.larossashoerepair.com/ They are in South Weymouth, Mass., across from a Footjoy factory. Bill LaRossa told me they do a lot of mods for PGA tour guys. He seems to be a great guy who loves to talk about his work. I told him I had hallux limitus in my right toe, and wanted my shoe to be stiffer but not rigid, and to have a rocker sole with the pivot point under the toe joint area. I sent him a picture of a trail shoe I had been wearing as an illustration of the rocker I wanted. We discussed my foot size and shape, and he recommended the Dryjoys Tour as having a wide enough toe box while keeping a regular heel width. I knew my size, and he felt it would still be the right size. He did stretch out the toe box a little to be safe. Here is a photo. The left shoe is stock, the right one has the modification.

img-3363-jpg.jpg

 

 

Let me point out that the fit of the foot inside the shoe is not changed. So my toe by itself isn't actually pointing more up, if you know what I mean. The whole foot is tipped up a bit. Combined with the stiffening he did internally, my toe does not exceed its comfortable range of motion. Inside, I am using a Vasily+ Dannenberg insole. It has firm arch support plus a cutout designed to let the toe joint set down a bit, which is supposed to be a better position for this condition. https://www.vasylimedical.com/products/signature-series/dananberg These can be bought from a few places online. There are videos about this insole on Youtube. Finally I am using Kentwool socks, and the extra cushioning makes a real difference for me.

Taken all together, this has been amazing for me. I always have some arthritic discomfort day in and day out, but now the golf does not add to the problem. I can even walk the course again, including up and down hills, without paying for it later. I wish I had known to do this 2 or 3 years ago. I am going to order another pair in white. Black leather is pretty darn hot in the summer!

I should add, the modification cost was in the mid $200's. But worth it to me.

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