Bunions – Hallux Valgus

Possibly one of the greatest known foot pathologies of all time. But why is that? Let us take a closer look into exactly what a Bunion is, who gets it and what you can do about it?

What are Bunions?

"Bunions", otherwise known as Hallux valgus, is when the big toe bends in a particular angle towards the second toe. This bending, means the first metatarsal displaces medially towards the inline of the body and the proximal phalanx towards your second toe, therefore results in the bumpy bony appearance commonly seen on feet.

What causes Bunions?

Rumour has it- Its the shoes! But is it? There is truth that the long term inappropriate shoes do contribute to the movement and displacement of the joint but most often it is inherited along the family line. Other factors can include;

  • Foot injury.
  • Systemic conditions like diabetes, arthritis and flat feet.
  • Activities that place high pressure on that joint and loose joints.

Women tend to develop bunions more than men. 

What are the effects of Bunions?

  • The obvious includes deformity of the forefoot. Sometimes depending on the severity- the second toe can become deformed (hammer toe).
  • The joint of the metatarsal and the big toe it self plays an important role in the walking cycle. When there's an imbalance the pressure shifts to the right. Therefore some people experience a hard skin/callus build up which can become increasingly uncomfortable. Corns are also commonly associated the this pathology on the second toe.
  • Painful/ Non-painful bump that can be relieved with good footwear and painkillers.
  • Red and swollen bump.
  • Formation of a Bursae/Bursitis.
  • Limited range of movement in your toe.
  • Difficulty in finding shoes that fit comfortably.

The different stages, of bunions/hallux valgus, can be mild to severe. 

Bunion treatment/ Bunion surgery

Conservative treatments can include things like;

  • Pads and cushions
  • Night splints
  • Toe exercises
  • Orthotics
  • ain relief medication

Bunion surgery is something worth considering if you are suffering poorly with the condition. There are many ways to correct the deformity and DG Podiatrist knows just the consultant podiatric surgeon, with over 25 years of experience, to perform it safely. Aftercare is crucial and requires commitment for full recovery. 

If you feel you have this, and would like to know the best options for yourself book with DG Podiatrist for happy feet.