Foot Health

Do injections help hallux rigidus?

Yes, injections can help manage the symptoms of hallux rigidus, particularly pain and inflammation. Corticosteroid injections are the most commonly used for this purpose. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medications that can help to reduce swelling and pain in the joint. These injections can provide temporary relief, but they are not a long-term solution and are typically used as part of a broader management plan.

While corticosteroid injections can provide symptom relief, they don’t cure the underlying condition or slow its progression. Moreover, repeated injections over time may lead to other problems, such as weakening of the surrounding tissues or further degradation of the joint. Therefore, they should be used judiciously, and primarily when other non-surgical treatments (like NSAIDs, orthotic devices, or physical therapy) are not effective.

In addition to corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid injections (a treatment called viscosupplementation) are sometimes used. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the synovial fluid that lubricates joints. The theory is that injecting hyaluronic acid into the joint can improve lubrication, reduce pain, and improve function. However, while some studies have shown beneficial effects, the evidence is less consistent compared to corticosteroid injections, and more research is needed.

Remember that while injections can help manage symptoms, they are not a permanent solution for hallux rigidus. For more advanced cases or when symptoms significantly interfere with daily life, surgical options may need to be explored.