What is Functional Hallux Limitus
Functional hallux limitus is a highly prevalent foot condition that is often overlooked in clinical examination, as pain and symptoms are often not associated with the 1st MTP (metatarsophalangeal) joint, but rather occur in remote sites due to compensations during the gait cycle. Having a clinical suspicion that functional hallux limitus is present can lead to improved outcomes.
This pathology exhibits a normal range of hallux dorsiflexion during non-weightbearing but with a significant decrease in hallux dorsiflexion during weightbearing.
Over time, repetitive jamming can contribute to arthritis of the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint (structural hallux rigidus) or formation of a bunion deformity (hallux abducto valgus or HAV).
Problems caused by functional hallux limitus
Functional hallux limitus is a common problem causing pronation of the foot at point in the gait cycle when the foot should be quite stable, and could potentially be responsible for a host of problems. These include hallux rigidus, bunion deformity, metatarsal overload, plantar fasciitis, achillodynia, as well as all the problems typically seen with over pronators.