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Osteoarthritis & Degenerative Arthritis Care in Seaford & Millsboro

Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, is a breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. When cartilage deteriorates or is lost, symptoms develop that can restrict one’s ability to perform activities of daily living. In the foot, the disease most frequently affects the big toe joint, although is commonly found in the midfoot and ankle.

Hallux Limitus/Hallux Rigidus

Hallux rigidus is a form of degenerative arthritis affecting the big toe joint. Common causes are faulty biomechanics and structural abnormalities. In other cases, it is associated with overuse or can also result from injuries to the joint. It causes pain, stiffness, and decreased motion. This condition is progressive and over time it becomes harder and harder to move the joint. The sooner the condition is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Xrays can help determine the extent of the bony changes. Nonsurgical treatments include: shoe modification, orthotics, medications, injections, physical therapy. Surgical options include both joint sparing and joint fusion procedures.

Ankle Arthritis

The most common form of ankle arthritis is post-traumatic (after an injury or fracture). Arthritis can range from mild to severe. Typically, pain increases and motion decreases as the arthritis worsens.

Xrays and other imaging may be helpful to determine further treatment. Nonsurgical treatments include: orthotics, bracing, medications, injections, physical therapy.


Surgical options include arthrodiastasis (joint distraction), total ankle replacement, and ankle fusion.

To learn more about foot and ankle conditions, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org

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