A common site of arthritis is the Great toe metatarsophalangeal joint, ‘MTPJ’. The cartilage lining of the joint wears out, usually with no obvious previous injury, or due to Gout, Rheumatoid arthritis or trauma. The joint becomes inflamed, bony spurs ‘osteophytes’ form, and stiffness develops.
Common symptoms are stiffness and pain, particularly with walking. It may limit walking distance, and compromise work and recreational activities. The Bony spurs can cause pain by rubbing against shoes. In an attempt to off-load the painful great toe, some people will preferentially walk on the outer border of the foot, causing transfer pain to the lesser toes. Often people have pain at night.