The clinical, radiological and pathological features of hallux rigidus affecting nine toes (in seven patients) are described. Characteristic chondral and osteochondral lesions are seen to occur at a specific site on the metatarsal head, and account for the limitation of dorsiflexion but relatively unrestricted plantarflexion typical of hallux rigidus. Radiologically these lesions are often missed because they are mainly cartilaginous and are later obscured by secondary degenerative changes. Histological evidence indicates a traumatic aetiology and a mechanism of injury is suggested.
- © 1978 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery