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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Terminology of hallux rigidus and limitus 

I do get a little frustrated at the confusion surrounding the terminology of these conditions. To me hallux rigidus means just that: i.e. the hallux is rigid (it does not move). Some people use ‘rigidus’ for a reduced range of motion and some use it as another name for osteoarthritis (which obviously most cases of structural hallux limitus have). Also the term hallux limitus is a tad confusing - is it a structural hallux limitus (which some like to call hallux rigidus) or is it a functional hallux limitus (which some do not think even exists). So this is what I call things:

Hallux rigidus = no motion at the joint
Structural hallux limitus = structurally reduced range of motion
Functional hallux limitus = functionally reduced range of motion

BUT, then again, they can all be reconceptualised as a change in dorsiflexion stiffness at the first MPJ, so let’s toss all the names out.

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