Toe arthritis

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Toe arthritis is brought about by inflammation in the toe joint. The condition typically affects the big toe but can affect other toes as well. Previous trauma such as a sprained or fractured toe can result to arthritis in the long run. Other responsible conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout.

Some of the potential risk considerations include being overweight, increasing age and family history of any form of arthritis. Women who use constricted, high-heeled shoes for prolonged periods might also be at risk.

What are the indications of toe arthritis?

Toe pain

Toe arthritis
All forms of arthritis can trigger joint inflammation which leads to evident swelling. The affected toes might turn red and feel warm to the touch.

Pain or discomfort is the initial sign of toe arthritis. There is generalized discomfort in the toes or only the big toe. It can be described as an achy, deep feeling to a sharp, stab-like sensation during movement.

The discomfort is the most common yet debilitating sign of toe arthritis. It can disrupt with daily activities.

Rigidity or stiffness

Over time, toe arthritis wears out the cartilage amidst the joints, inflames the tissues and impairs the synovial fluid. These changes can lead to stiff joints that are hard to move.

With diminished support and cushioning, the joints become unaffected to flexing and stretching. This leads to difficulty walking since the toes has a big role in balance and pushing the foot off the ground.


All forms of arthritis can trigger joint inflammation which leads to evident swelling. The affected toes might turn red and feel warm to the touch.

This symptom is evident after being seated for some time or after getting out of bed. The swelling makes it hard to wear shoes in the morning.

Clicking and popping sounds

These sounds can be heard if an individual develops toe arthritis. They are brought about by the degeneration of the cartilage that cushions that 2 bones in a joint. Once the cartilage wears out, the bones might brush against one another to produce these sounds.

Appearance alterations

The toe might appear bigger than normal or starts to rotate away from the foot. These alterations might be signs of toe arthritis.

Once the cartilage wears out and bone brushes on bone, the body responds by creating more bone. Even though this stabilizes the joint, it causes it to enlarge or appear to have a big bump.


Once the inflammation brings more blood to the toes, it causes a feeling of warmth in the site. It can be mildly irritating, but it does not cause any disruption with daily activities. There might be redness on the skin around the joints and can become tender to the touch.

Locking joint

This occurs if there is excessive swelling and stiffness where the joint could not bend. The rough edges on the bones and presence of bone spurs can cause the joint to lock up.

Difficulty walking

All the symptoms can make walking difficult and painful. The individual might adjust his/her gait to place less weight on the toes.

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