Big Toe Arthritis

Morton’s interdigital neuroma is a swelling or irritation of a nerve usually between the third and fourth metatarsals of the foot. It can often be associated with intermetatarsal bursitis, which may also cause compression of the nerve.

Big Toe Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis causes inflammation which may present as swelling and pain around the big toe. The toe may also have restricted upward movement caused by secondary bone spurs or loss of joint cartilage. Other symptoms of Big Toe Arthritis may include: tenderness, achiness and difficulty walking.


You are more likely to develop osteoarthritis if you have a family history of it. The risk of OA increases as you get older due to normal wear and tear on the big toe. Common causes may include: trauma, excessive foot pronation (rolling in) and prolonged weight bearing.

Big Toe Arthritis Treatment

Osteoarthritis is progressive and permanent. At present, little can be done to ‘undo’ damage at the big toe. X-rays may help grade the severity of the damage. Your podiatrist will assess the need for an x-ray.

Short-term Big Toe Arthritis treatment may consist of the following:
• Avoidance of aggravating activity and running of soft surfaces
• Shoes with a stiff or rocker bottom sole

Podiatry treatment may consist of:
• Strapping the toe to reduce movement where required
• Splints or braces
• Custom made orthotics to control foot pronation and reduce the load on the big toe
• Anti-inflammatory medication
• Cortisone injections into the joint to reduce inflammation