Symptoms, treatment and surgery for bursitis of the big toe

Bursitis of the big toe: the treatment or surgery?

Bursitis of the big toe occurs in the joint between the metatarsal bone and the proximal phalanx of the great toe, in fact, is the inflammation of the joint capsule.

Begins with deformation of the position of the bones relative to each other, and therefore, the friction inside the joint becomes unnatural and an inflammatory process.



The occurrence of bursitis of the foot is almost always direct whether the indirect answer to the lifestyle or actions of the person, except when there is a genetic predisposition. Among the main are:

  • Congenital deformity of the transverse arch of the foot is due to heredity.
  • Flat feet — regardless of the mechanism of occurrence it leads to an incorrect load on the foot and can cause inflammation in the joint capsule.
  • Injuries – bruises, punctures, and even corn have been coming can lead to inflammation.
  • Violation of the metabolism – is one of the causes of bursitis, because often accompanied by an increase of body weight, or impaired tissue functions. No there is making the proper amount of synovial fluid or articular tissue suffers.
  • Infection – spreading by blood flow can affect many organs, including will impair functions of the articular apparatus.
  • Allergy in the acute phase of the immune response basophils secrete a variety of mediators of inflammation, which in rare cases can affect and joint bags.
  • Autoimmune diseases – due to the characteristics of the development (the human immune system produces antibodies against healthy tissue) can cause bursitis.
  • Disease affecting the joints – gout, arthritis etc. can also spread to joint bags.
  • Shoes. Narrow shoes, and even high heel can cause bursitis — if there is a predisposition to exacerbate the development of, or cause transverse flatfoot, and as a consequence, bursitis.

Symptoms of the disease

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Development of symptoms depends on the nature of the bursitis of the big toe.

If the bursitis is preceded by hallux valgus, the first symptoms include change in the shape of the foot.

Next, there is a soft lump in the area plasmaprotein joint, over time it hardens, while the skin around the build-up blush, moving the joint becomes difficult and painful.

The form of the foot is changed, the habitual wearing of shoes becomes problematic.

The untreated accompanied by complications, compounded by bursitis. The types of complications depend on the form of the disease.

The acute form of bursitis can be complicated by arthritis, fistulas, and even osteomyelitis. Their treatment becomes extremely difficult and time-consuming process, often requiring surgical intervention.

The most common complication of chronic bursitis of the big toe are scar adhesions that will greatly hinder movement in the joint.

Diagnostic system measures

To most effectively identify this type of bursitis should conduct a comprehensive diagnosis:

  • Visual inspection (even if the patient suffers from pain in Plesneva-proximal joint, the doctor will ask to sit on the ground and take a few steps in this position in the presence of bursitis will have pain).
  • Laboratory methods – blood test to assess inflammation and heart health. And can carry out the puncture of the exudate, if there is a suspicion on the infectious nature of inflammation.
  • Ultrasound of the joint. Swollen joint capsule can put pressure on blood vessels, the ultrasound will show the state of flow and the amount of exudate.
  • X – ray will show a change in the position of metatarsus and phalanges that allows you to assess the deformity.

The treatment of the disease

The choice of methods of treatment for bursitis of the big toe depends on the etiology of the disease.

If the patient’s condition allows, treatment can be conservative. Patient impose a tight bandage or plaster for a period of one month to three. In the joint no more rubbing occurs, the tissues restore.

Conservative therapy accompanied by medication and a balanced diet.

The General scheme of treatment of bursitis of the big toe is the same as treatment for any other bursitis.

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There is a single Supplement – special orthotics. So, the treatment is carried out according to the following scheme:

  1. Is chosen either trim the «bump», which is attached directly to the foot or footwear;
  2. Appointed anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics;
  3. Injections of corticosteroids (directly into the joint, relieve pain, allow you to localize the inflammation and make the treatment more effective).

Physiotherapy is an important treatment stage

Can be assigned:

  • Shock-wave therapy. Its essence lies in the use of acoustic waves directly on the joint. Relieves pain, stimulates blood flow, destroys bone spurs. Contributes to the restoration of joint mobility.
  • Ultrasonic therapy. Stimulates the production of enzymes that enhances the skin permeability for drugs applied topically.
  • Electrophoresis with drugs to relieve pain and activation of regenerative processes.
  • Paraffin baths, acupuncture, etc.

In a particularly difficult and advanced cases will have to resort to surgical intervention.


Surgery for bursitis of the big toe is appointed or in case of complications, severe illness, neglect, or when conservative methods are ineffective.

  1. The least complex intervention is to puncture the cavity of the synovial Bursa of the joint. Out the pus, further treatment in the usual way.
  2. Bursectomy — is appropriate, if not necessary to adjust the position of the bones of the foot. Then the only bone growth.
  3. Osteotomy with removal of growths perform the correction of the position of the bones of the foot.
    When the distal osteotomy cut only with the distal end of the metatarsal bone and move to the desired position. The proximal osteotomy is make a few cuts with the other hand and fix the bones with metal rods.

Not so difficult an operation as the postoperative period. It lasts up to 6 weeks, the greatest difficulty in a limited foot traffic.

Traditional medicine

Together with the classical treatment for bursitis of the big toe, you can resort to treatment with traditional methods.


  • Grated fresh vegetables such as potatoes or beets is applied to the foot, wrap with cellophane and gently put a tight sock. This compress is done for the night.
  • Hot sugar is applied to the joint, tight wrap, and left overnight.
  • Lotion with propolis. 10 grams of propolis pour 150 ml of vodka, insist 5 days. Then make lotions until the swelling is completely gone;
  • Heat mixture of chips of soap with honey in a weight ratio of 1:1, and placed in the handkerchief along with chopped onion. Attach to the sore spot for about two weeks.
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  • Tea from celery. Tablespoon celery seed pour 1 Cup boiling water and insist 2 hours. Take infusion 2 times a day for 2 weeks;
  • A decoction of St. John’s wort and yarrow. One or two tablespoons of dried herbs, pour a glass of boiling water, to insist half an hour, strain and dilute with water in ratio one to one. Take 100 ml before meals.


With aromatic oils: lavender, eucalyptus and mineral oil are mixed in equal parts applied on the joint and RUB massaging movements.

Preventive measures

In that case, if parents have developed bursitis of the big toe or after the treatment itself, the risk of disease is quite high, and should take preventive measures.

Like any disease, with timely treatment to the doctor bursitis of the big toe treated is not difficult and does not cause much discomfort. But modern methods of treatment allow to cope with almost any degree of disease.

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