I'm just wondering is it always a given that the arthritis continues to get worse and more painful as time goes by? Will I certainly reach the stage where surgery is a must?
Can the feet stabilize?
Also I wonder if I would be better off getting the fusion done earlier even though my pain now is limited or waiting until the arthritis gets to the point where it becomes a necessity..
I am doing ok for now but I fear that my feet will eventually reach a stage where toe fusions are necessary..
Anything we can do to prevent our arthritis becoming too much of a hindrance to our daily lives? Walking around and in my daily life my feet are find but if I do some intense exercise like running - I feel like I may be damaging my feet more..
It's a tricky situation and I'd really like to hear how others' conditions progressed with time.
Don't know if you're still following this thread, but here's my response. In my own case, the arthritis definitely does continue to get worse and more painful with time. I reached the surgery stage eventually. Maybe your experience will be different, but my general understanding is that this condition almost never just corrects itself.
My toes both worsened gradually, with the right one taking nearly 20 years to reach the "surgery" stage. The left one only took about 4-5 years. I don't know of any preventive measures you could take that would slow the process short of doing less of the physical activities that are probably very important to you.
One consideration that is extremely hard to predict or even judge is how much of an impact the hallux rigidus is having on the rest of your skeletal structure. Because the arthritis progresses relatively slowly, you may not even be aware of adjustments you're unconsciously making in your gait or posture to lessen the pain in the toe(s). In my own case, I ended up walking on the outside of both feet as the big toe joint became more inflamed and painful over time. I'm convinced that resulted in more stress on my lower spine and MAY have contributed to the back issues that I'm now experiencing.