Hallux Limitus Surgery Now, Skiing Later!

Man Downhill SkiingIf you are an avid skier, this is the time to schedule your hallux limitus surgery! Planning ahead and doing it now will enable you to recover in time to hit the slopes when the snow is actually falling. Now, you might not be familiar with the term “hallux limitus,” but you will likely know the effects it has on your big toe when you bend this joint to put on your boot!

Hallux limitus is a particularly debilitating injury that causes decreased motion in the big toe as the result of a bone spur that builds up over time from repetitive micro trauma. Essentially, there is a cycle where the joint is hyperextend/jammed, which triggers additional bone buildup, which then leads to a larger bone spur that jams the joint more, etc. If you ski, you probably can see this joint getting bigger each year.  Since they have not made clam shell/rear entry boots in decades, there are no great options.

The condition affects more than just skiers, though. This is a condition potentially affecting dancers, baseball catchers, plumbers, gardeners, child care workers, and others who spend extended time with the forefoot bent upward. Now, there are behavioral changes that can be made for certain activities—like sitting in a low stool while gardening to keep the foot form bending—but skiers are at heighted risk because of the aggressive bending of the foot when getting it into the ski boot.

It might not seem like a toe issue is a big deal, but Jack Lambert was a star linebacker for the Pittsburg Steelers who was widely known for his toughness and dedication to the game. Lambert was recognized as “the premier linebacker of his era” by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and was so tough that he played a game with two hip pointers, a bruised chest, and a swollen elbow. He only missed 6 games during his first 10 years playing football. Any guesses as to why he had to retire? Yep, hallux limitus.

So now that you know this is a serious condition, and one that can keep you from a favorite wintertime activity, it’s time to decide what you are going to do about it. Keep in mind that hallux limitus is progressive and will worsen if left untreated, which means it’s best to have the procedure done sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until the snow flies!

If you are ready to come see us and find the relief you need from this toe injury, contact the office of Jeffrie C. Leibovitz, D.P.M. by calling (317) 545-0505 to request an appointment today.

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