Hallux rigidus and first metatarsal head morphology
published in July - August 2019 - in Il Fisioterapista - issue n.4
Massimo Bitocchi

Objective: The aim of this article was to assess the statistical data reported in the literature regarding hallux rigidus.
Introduction: Hallux rigidus was first described in 1887 by Daves-Colley. It has an estimated incidence of 1/40 in patients aged over 50 years. The first ray is an important weightbearing part of the foot, in fact during the normal stance phase of the gait cycle, the hallux bears approximately 40-60% of the body weight. Many etiologies have been postulated including a longer 1st ray, trauma and a positive family history; however, most cases are likely idiopathic.
Method: To this end, we searched the current literature for relevant studies, without over employing a specific methodological criterion for identifying and analyzing the literature.
Results: The mean normalized radius of curvature was smaller in hallux valgus than hallux rigidus, with normal feet in between (p < .01). The greatest deviation from circularity was found in hallux rigidus feet, with normal feet showing an intermediate amount of deviation in between hallux rigidus and hallux valgus feet.
Conclusion: The 1st metatarsal head is quantitatively flatter in patients with hallux rigidus and shows more deviation from pure circularity.