What is arthrosis of the metatarsophalangeal joint of the 1 toe and how to deal with it

Arthrosis of the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint on the foot is characterized by damage to the thumb, leading to the formation of a growth in the form of a bulging bone. The joints of the feet are subjected to extreme stresses, resulting in vagal deformity.

At the initial stages of the development of the pathology of the patient, minor pains worry, and cones on the side are formed later. For this reason, many people seek qualified help at stages 2 and 3.

How does arthrosis develop?

Arthrosis of the metatarsophalangeal joint has another name – osteoarthrosis. At the beginning of the development of pathology, the elasticity of the cartilaginous tissue is lost, an insufficiency of intercellular fluid is detected, which leads to a thinning of the cartilage. Further, destruction occurs against the background of cracking. Pieces that penetrate the capsule or crevice of the joint break off the cartilage.

In a healthy condition, due to articular cartilage, articulating areas of the bones do not rub against each other. But with destructive processes, the surfaces of the subchondral joints become naked, which makes movement difficult due to pain. The synovial membrane is irritated, causing an inflammatory process.

Causes of arthrosis of the metatarsophalangeal joints

The following factors affect the development of degenerative and dystrophic processes in the tissues of cartilage:

  • Injuries of a mechanical nature – shock, dislocation, fracture;
  • Changes at the biochemical level that arise as a result of metabolic disorders, inflammation, diseases of the endocrine system, hormonal disruptions;
  • Lack of nutrients due to impaired blood supply;
  • Hypothermia, frostbite of the legs;
  • Wearing uncomfortable shoes, high heels;
  • Obesity (heavy load on the joints);
  • Incorrect anatomical structure;
  • Age changes.

Symptoms of each stage of the disease

The main symptom is pain in the thumb, which has its own characteristics at each stage of development of osteoarthritis of the 1st metatarsophalangeal finger:

  1. Stage No. 1 is characterized by minor pain and tingling. The pain threshold intensifies after heavy exertion. Thickening of the metatarsal bone is noted.
  2. Stage No. 2: the joint begins to deform, the movement of the thumb is limited due to severe pain. The pain does not go away even at rest. Walking, fully stepping on the entire area of ​​the foot, becomes impossible, so the patient tries to rely on the outs >Other symptoms of osteoarthritis of the metatarsophalangeal joints of the foot:

  • Stiffness of movement;
  • Swelling in the thumb, which extends to other parts of the foot;
  • Impaired gait;
  • Hyperemia of the skin (redness);
  • Sometimes – an increase in temperature in the zone of arthrosis or even the body;
  • Fatigue of the lower extremities;
  • Sealing the side of the thumb.

Diagnostic methods

Diagnosis is osteoarthritis of the metatarsophalangeal joint of the toe, based on existing symptoms. However, a comprehensive examination is required to confirm. Initially, the doctor examines the patient visually and by palpation. Further directs him to radiography. If necessary, computed or magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound. These methods can accurately determine the degree of damage, the presence of concomitant diseases, the stage of development of arthrosis.

The method of treatment of arthrosis of the first metatarsophalangeal finger at different stages

Osteoarthrosis of the first joint undergoes complex therapy. Used medication through tablets, injections and external agents. Physiotherapeutic procedures, physical exercises, etc. are required. The technique is selected based on the stage of the disease, course, characteristics of a particular organism and other factors. So, osteoarthrosis of the first degree of the first metatarsophalangeal fingers is treated only with the help of exercise therapy and physiotherapy, the 1nd and 2rd degree – with medication, and 3 – exclusively by surgical methods.

The main rules for the successful treatment of arthrosis of the phalangeal joints of the foot:

  • Any load on the joint is reduced;
  • With obesity, you need to follow a diet to reduce weight;
  • To exclude a standing position – it is better to sit down or lie down;
  • Do not wear uncomfortable shoes, high heels, etc .;
  • Shoes should be spacious and exclusively on a flat sole;
  • It is important to use orthopedic insoles;
  • To do special exercises.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Physiotherapy and physiotherapy complex

This method of treatment has a high degree of effectiveness in the early stages of the development of pathology, but even with the late manifestation of osteoarthritis of the metatarsophalangeal foot joint, it is necessary to prescribe it. For physiotherapeutic procedures, low-frequency UHF, UVR irradiation, magnetotherapy, infrared laser exposure are used.

For deeper penetration of drugs directly into the cartilage tissue, phonophoresis and electrophoresis are applied.

Thanks to these procedures, local metabolic processes are accelerated, swelling is removed, damaged cells and tissues are regenerated. In addition, the tonus state of the muscular system near the joints is normalized, inflammation is neutralized, blood circulation and lymph outflow are accelerated, and the joint is anesthetized.

The physical therapy complex can be carried out both in stationary conditions and at home. To do this, there are various techniques that your doctor will tell you about.

Here are some simple exercises:

  1. Perform rotational movements with the feet first in one direction, then in the other direction.
  2. Stretch your legs and socks forward. Take the toe to the left and the heel to the right. Then in other directions (heel to the left, toe to the right).
  3. Pull the sock towards and away from you alternately.
  4. Sit on a chair, with your feet resting on the floor. Roll your foot from heel to toe and back, simulating walking.
  5. Take a rubber band or elastic bandage. Join them with the big toes of both legs. Now try to spread your feet apart (apart). You need to overcome resistance. If this mechanotherapeutic exercise leads to severe pain and discomfort, lower the resistance level slightly.
  6. Massage your thumbs with stroking and kneading movements.

Medication Therapy

Treatment of arthrosis of the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint of the 2nd degree implies the use of drug therapy. It is also recommended at the beginning of development of the 3rd degree of severity.

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Surgical intervention

Surgery is prescribed only for severe illness and advanced stage. This is the 3rd and 4th degree. The main goal of surgery is to immobilize the affected joint artificially.

The following modern methods are applied:

  1. Brandes surgery or resection of exostoses. During the operation, part of the main phalanx of the first finger is removed. Next, a plaster cast with a tire is applied to the foot area. After removing the cast, there is a need for rehabilitation measures for 14 days. At this time, the phalanx is stretched and therapeutic exercises are performed. When the sutures are removed, the surgeon fixes a cotton wool and gauze roller between the fingers.
  2. Arthroplasty or arthrodesis. The surgical technique is based on the fusion of the main phalanx of the first toe with deforming arthrosis of the metatarsophalangeal joint with the metatarsal bone. Thanks to this, the pain syndrome is stopped. During the operation, the surgeon makes an incision through which part of the joint, cartilage and bone are removed. Next, a medical retainer is installed, which will press the remaining parts together. The time for complete coalescence of the fragments is 70-90 days. The result – the patient ceases to limp and feel pain. Be sure to wear orthopedic shoes.
  3. Endoprosthetics of the joint involves the replacement of the affected fragment with a prosthesis. This is the most commonly used technique in modern surgery. The doctor removes the affected joint and establishes an artificial one. Feature – minimum rehabilitation period, the ability to choose the prosthesis of the required size. But there is a significant minus – over time, the prosthesis wears out, as a result of which a new surgical intervention is required to replace it.

Rehabilitation period

The recovery period after surgery depends on the methodology used, the characteristics of the patient’s body and the clarity of the doctor’s recommendations. The patient after the operation is obliged to engage in a physical therapy complex, take some drugs, lead a healthy lifestyle.

Recipes of traditional medicine

Often, doctors themselves recommend using alternative medicine recipes as an auxiliary way.

Here are some universal tools:

  1. Take a plant – a golden mustache in the amount of 50 grams. Grind and add propolis (1 gram), pour medical alcohol (500 ml) and let it brew for 10-12 days. Take orally before meals 2 times a day for 1 tablespoon.
  2. Take 1 part of high-quality vodka, the same amount of aloe juice and 2 parts of natural liquid honey. The resulting mass is applied to the affected joint, covered with polyethylene and soft tissue. Hold for several hours, you can apply such a compress at night.
  3. Natural ointment. Combine in equal proportions olive oil, sesame seeds and corn. In general, you should get 150 mg. Add 1 tsp. table or sea (not aromatized) salt, 0,5 tsp. red pepper and chopped garlic. Put the mixture in a water bath and bring to a boil. The ointment is rubbed daily with massaging movements.
  4. Combine in equal proportions nettle, saberfish, thyme, ginger and barberry. You will get 5 tablespoons of all the ingredients. Pour them with vegetable oil (200 ml) and bring to a boil in a steam bath. Use the product before bedtime, rubbing into the affected area. Since the mass has a greasy base, be sure to wrap the joint with a bandage or cloth.
  5. The foot baths have a good effect. Make a decoction of the root of Jerusalem artichoke and pine branches. Pour into a bowl, add 5 tsp. To 2 liters of liquid. natural honey, turpentine and 3 tbsp. l sea ​​salt. You can immerse limbs in water at a comfortable temperature. Keep up to 20 minutes. The duration of treatment is 12 procedures maximum. After taking a bath, apply interior fat to the joint. In extreme cases, pork.

Osteoarthrosis Prevention

Preventive measures are designed to prevent the development of pathology. This is especially important in the presence of the first symptoms of arthrosis of the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint. This will prevent timely further progression.

So what you need to do:

  1. Often walk barefoot in the summertime on grass or sand. If this is not possible, use the carpet in the house. But it is best to purchase a long-naped palace, as it lightly massages the feet and joints.
  2. Strengthen the muscular system of the legs, especially the feet. To do this, do daily exercises. If you have sedentary work, then in the process you can make movements with your legs, raising and lowering the heels.
  3. Climb to your floor more often on foot, because walking on the steps strengthens not only the calf muscles, but also the feet. If you live in a private house, then make yourself improvised steps from books.
  4. Arthrosis can be prevented by daily finger and foot massages in general. For example, before going to bed, after taking a bath, smear your limbs with your favorite cream and massage them.
  5. You can use cryotherapy, that is, rubbing joints with pieces of ice.
  6. Pay particular attention to your diet. You need to use antioxidants – vitamins E, C, A, selenium. They are found in large quantities in lemon and avocado, apricots and mangoes, spinach and parsley, carrots and broccoli, bell peppers and nuts. Avoid butter and animal fat, but prefer vegetable oils.
  7. For joints and cartilage, gelatin intake is important. Therefore, cook jelly, aspic and jellied meat. It is advisable to make jelly at home from natural fruits, preserves, compotes, as factory options contain many dyes and other additives that are harmful to the body.
  8. Do not abuse alcoholic beverages, strong coffee and tea.
  9. Watch your own weight – get rid of obesity, if it is.
  10. Move more – this is the key to healthy joints.
  11. Wear only comfortable shoes and discard too narrow. If you prefer heels, then make sure that your legs rest periodically. Or give preference to a height of not more than 4 cm. Use orthopedic insoles.

Arthrosis of the metatarsophalangeal joint of the first finger can carry the risk of complications. Therefore, it is important to timely focus on the manifesting symptoms, the first of which is pain. After detecting signs, immediately contact a clinic where you will be provided with qualified assistance. And do not forget to take care of your own joints, adhering to preventive measures.

Anatoly Kudravets

Anatoly Kudravets, Orthopedic Traumatologist. He works with severe cases, practices operative methods of treating connective tissues