The second most common pathology in the big toe after hallux valgus it degenerative arthritis in the metatarsophalangeal joint (Gordon and Singh, 2014).
Main reasons described in literature are: tight footwear, tight achilles tendon, trauma, elevated first ray, pes planus (flat foot) and hallux valgus to name some (Gordon and Singh, 2014). Osteoarthritis
or “wear and tear” arthritis is the most common type of arthritis and can affect the articular cartilage of the first MTP joint (Big toe) of the foot. Articular cartilage is the smooth coating that covers the surface of the bones. It cushions and helps lubricate the joint surfaces. In osteoarthritis the articular cartilage begins to degrade and over time thins or form cracks. Tiny pieces of cartilage may come loose and float inside the first MTP of the foot, further irritating the joint and after a long period wear away till the bones begin to rub together.
Management of this condition involves altering biomechanics and footwear and cortisone injections may assist in decreasing pain.
Gordon D. and Singh D., 2014, Osteoarthritis of the Great Toe Metatarsophalangeal Joint, European Surgical Orthopaedics, Springer Reference, p: 1