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OA in big toes

Hi everyone, first post.

I’m a 41 year old very active male, recently diagnosed with OA in both big toes.

Seen a Consultant Rheumatologist in July and received cortisone injections in both joints (proved a waste of time and money). Recently began taking supplements (Curcumin), visiting a Chiropracter who has got more movement (very painful) in the joints and also use ice therapy (place feet in ice water for 7 mins) daily.

Unfortunately sharp pain persists most days. Can’t play football with my kids anymore. Can’t run and even walking can be painful.

Anyone out there with familiar symptoms??

Also any other possible treatments would be hugely appreciated.


  • EllenEllen Posts: 352 mod

    Hi @Whitewolf79

    Good to meet you. I see you have recently been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in both big toes. I am presuming the diagnosis was made by your GP and you had blood tests as part of the diagnosis and possibly an X-ray. I wonder whether any pain relief was also prescribed.

    So steroid injections didn't work, but your chiropractor has managed to get some movement back albeit with pain into the joints. It des sound very painful and is affecting your life badly.

    I apologise if you already know this, but I am attaching a link to information about 'the foot' and Osteoarthritis which might be of use. It suggests various options such as footwear, podiatry, physiotherapy etc which might be useful:

    Please do not feel you shouldn't return to your GP if this situation is proving intolerable for you.

    I'll leave you to meet our members.

    Best wishes


  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 26,002 ✭✭✭

    Hi @Whitewolf79

    I was wondering how it was diagnosed too.

    My husband has had bouts like this (only one toe though never both) and it's made him really miserable. I was going to suggest he got tested for gout because I'm sure that is very often the big toes, but his seems to come and go and is ok at the moment.

    Ellen is quite right go back to your GP it sounds really painful.

    Drs are used to most things clearing up in time and would expect you to go back if nothing has helped so far and you have tried quite a lot.

    Let us know how you get on


    Toni xxx
  • Christian78Christian78 Posts: 116
    edited 12. Jan 2021, 20:07

    Hi @Whitewolf79 yes I have had OA in my big toe joint right foot and have had a 1st big toe joint fusion in 2012 got six screws and a metal plate in my right foot, I have very reduced pain in this area but do stuff from nerve pain due to nerves been damaged after surgery, so never completely gets rid of the pain but has reduced my pain in my right foot.

    I also have mid foot OA in my left foot which I have had lots of steroid injections in my left foot with various results but I have been told by a foot and ankle specialist that's it's not bad enough to warrant an operation and it's going to be many years before this will happen, so my othopeadic surgeon told me to continue with joint injections and oral medication for pain and my pain specialist is happy to continue doing steroid injections into my left foot.

    Trouble is any surgery on feet takes long time to recover took me 9 1/2 months to fully recover from my big toe fusion on my right foot and can be left with nerve damage and possibly other complications.

    I have custom made insoles as I under a orthotic specialist and use these daily to help me with walking as my arch has collepsed left foot and have tendon damage and other foot conditions.

    Hope this helps, and best of luck with your treatments for your big toe pain.

    And I am in my early 40s.

    Best wishes @christian78

  • Hi all and huge thanks for recent comments.

    Diagnosis made through GP and from Xrays. Left toe is worse than right even though I’m right footed.

    To be honest this is all new to me. For example I was playing Astro till one year ago. Now I genuinely cannot kick a ball with my kids. ( Played a game with them in November and found a huge pain increase thereafter)

    Went to a private Consult Rheum last June and found the consult horrendous. Walked in, he took one look at my feet, oh yes I can see you have OA, gave two injections and out the door. A money racket is all I’ll call it. Rant over.

    From a medication point of view, I’m trying to limit this to only on the worse occasions. Ibuprofen does help.

    My main fear is this is only the beginning. Does OA ever improve?? Understand the option of fusion but that is a huge invasive procedure


  • airwaveairwave Posts: 358

    The NHS treatment is as good as you can get. I had a toe joint fused over twenty years ago and on the next one I asked for a new joint, I was given a ceramic one which was later removed so I just have a space there now😀. I use the side of my foot to return the ball to my gc, the little dears are too fast for me to consider anything else...... in my next life I will play football professionally 👍.

    it’s a grin, honest!

  • N1gelN1gel Posts: 68

    Try Glucosamine supplement or Omega3 capsules, one of them is working for me (wish I knew which it was!)

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