Foot Health

Hallux Rigidus And Advancements In Surgical Interventions

The 1970s and 1980s: Early Surgical Techniques

In the early days of hallux rigidus treatment, surgical intervention was often a last resort due to the limited technology and techniques available. Cheilectomy, while still in its early stages, was the most common surgical approach, mainly involving the removal of bone spurs to relieve pain. However, surgical instruments were rudimentary, and the recovery time was typically longer than what patients experience today.

The 1990s: The Advent of Arthrodesis

The 1990s saw significant improvements in surgical interventions. Arthrodesis, or joint fusion, started gaining acceptance as an effective treatment for severe cases of hallux rigidus. Although this surgery limited toe movement, it provided a significant reduction in pain for patients.

The Early 2000s: The Dawn of Arthroplasty

As we entered the new millennium, advancements in materials and techniques led to the development of arthroplasty for treating hallux rigidus. While initially reserved for the elderly and less active individuals, this procedure gradually gained acceptance, offering patients the opportunity to regain some movement in their toe.

The 2010s: Minimally Invasive Techniques

The last decade has seen a shift towards minimally invasive surgical techniques. These methods, which involve smaller incisions and less trauma to the surrounding tissues, have led to faster recovery times and improved patient outcomes.

The 2020s and Beyond: Technological Advancements and Personalized Care

Today, the treatment of hallux rigidus is highly personalized, taking into account the specific needs and lifestyle of the patient. Technological advancements in imaging, surgical techniques, and implant materials have further improved the outcomes of these procedures.

From the rudimentary techniques of the past to the advanced interventions of today, the journey of hallux rigidus surgery over the last 50 years is a testament to the continuous efforts of the medical community to enhance patient care and outcomes. With ongoing research and technological advancements, the future of hallux rigidus treatment looks promising.



Arthrodesis, or joint fusion, is another surgical option that’s considered when the arthritis is severe. In this procedure, the damaged joint surfaces are removed and the bones are fused together using screws or plates. Although it limits the movement of the toe, it can effectively eliminate pain.


In arthroplasty, or joint replacement, the damaged joint is replaced with an artificial one. This procedure is less common for hallux rigidus, and is typically reserved for older patients who are not highly active.

Advancements in Surgical Interventions

Medical science never stands still, and surgical interventions for hallux rigidus are no exception. Let’s dive into some of the latest advancements in these procedures.

Advancements in Cheilectomy

The most significant advancements in cheilectomy involve the use of minimally invasive techniques. Surgeons now use smaller incisions and advanced imaging technology to perform the surgery, reducing recovery time and improving outcomes.

Advancements in Arthrodesis

For arthrodesis, advancements have been made in the materials used for bone fusion, such as biocompatible metals and ceramics. Also, newer techniques aim to preserve more of the patient’s natural bone structure, promoting a more natural range of motion post-surgery.

Advancements in Arthroplasty

When it comes to arthroplasty, significant advancements have been made in the design and materials of artificial joints. The latest models aim to mimic the natural movement of the toe as closely as possible, enhancing comfort and function after surgery.

These advancements have opened new doors for patients suffering from hallux rigidus, providing more effective and comfortable solutions to this debilitating condition. They are an example of how continuous research and development in the field of medical science can bring relief to millions of patients worldwide.