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Hallux Limitus

What is hallux limitus?

Hallux limitus is a condition that affects the big toe joint. Hallux limitus describes a big toe joint in which there is a limited amount of dorsiflexion (this is the position the toe is in when pointing upwards). The result of hallux limitus is pain and inflammation at the joint, often there will be extra bone growth at the joint (an exostosis) which can become irritated by footwear.

The podiatrists at Manchester Podiatry can help you if you have hallux limitus by fully assessing you, and then offering you a treatment plan that will aim to reduce any painful symptoms as well as improve the function of your foot and lower limb.

What causes hallux limitus?

Hallux limitus may be caused by:

What would podiatry for hallux limitus involve?

The podiatrists at Manchester Podiatry will first take down a thorough medical history and a history of the problem. Your podiatrist will then examine the foot in order to assess the quality and range of motion of the joints, this is done both weight bearing and non-weight bearing. Upon a diagnosis of hallux limitus treatment options will be discussed with you and you may be referred for a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis. Treatment for hallux limitus may be one of, or a combination of the following:

Orthoses (shoe inserts)

The podiatrists at Manchester Podiatry may recommend orthoses to correct any poor foot posture (biomechanics) that is contributing to your hallux limitus. The aim of orthoses for hallux limitus is to free up the big toe joint, as well as to improve overall lower limb function so that the deterioration of the big toe joint is prevented and any painful symptoms alleviated.

Ostenil injection therapy

Osteni injections are used by podiatrists at Manchester Podiatry to treat hallux limitus. Ostenil injections work by replacing the lost synovial fluid, which protects the joint. By replacing the synovial fluid the function of the big toe joint is restored and pain is decreased.

Footwear review

If footwear is thought to be contributing to the symptoms of hallux limitus then this will be discussed with you and alternatives will be recommended.


Mobilisation is a technique used by the podiatrists at Manchester Podiatry to restore joint movement which has been lost due to disease or injury. Mobilisation is used to treat hallux limitus when the range of motion is lacking.


If there is no movement at the big toe joint (hallux rigidus) and orthoses are not deemed to be appropriate then it may be that surgery would be beneficial. If surgery is recommended by your podiatrist then this this will be discussed with you.

Ostenil injection therapy for hallux limitus

Ostenil injection therapy for hallux limitus acts as a joint replacement, replacing the lost synovial fluid which lubricates, protects, and cushions the big toe joint. As a result there is a reduction in pain and an increase in function of the big toe joint following Ostenil injection therapy.

What should I do if I have hallux limitus?

If you think you may have hallux limitus, or if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort then why not come and visit us at Manchester Podiatry. Here at Manchester Podiatry we have experienced podiatrists who are able to assess, treat, and advise you on any concerns you may have regarding your foot and lower limb health. Our podiatrists will, if necessary, provide you with a treatment plan designed to improve your symptoms.