A bunion or Hallux Valgus is a condition in which the big toe is angled excessively towards the second toe instead of pointing forwards in a straight line. This gives the appearance of a bump on the side of the joint. This is actually the head of the first metatarsal, which has moved out of position, the big toe (hallux) has therefore moved outwards into a valgus position. It may become swollen, tender and painful when wearing footwear.
There are several reasons why a bunion or hallux valgus may develop and they all lead to abnormal motion and pressure over the joint.
It can be because of the way we walk, our inherited foot type, our shoes, arthritis or other reasons. It is important to note that it is the foot type that is passed down in families, not the bunion.
A number of medical conditions can also increase the chance of developing a bunion because of either flexible joints and/or a reduction in muscle tone or loose ligaments.
Sometimes the smaller toes may be affected as a result of a bunion, due to the malalignment of the big toe joint. The smaller toes often change shape or start to overlap. A fluid-filled sac called a bursa may also develop under the skin over the bunion and this can be very painful.
Podiatry treatment – Early conservative management with podiatry can help to treat the symptoms of this condition. After an assessment and examination we will discuss the treatment options most suitable for you.
Podiatry treatment can include advice about suitable footwear and orthotics to prevent it from becoming more pronounced and uncomfortable. Corns and callous that may appear over the bunion can be treated. You will also be advised on suitable devices to cushion and protect the bunion. If conservative treatments do not provide pain relief and the deformity is severe, then surgery may the preferred option to resolve the problem.
If you have a bunion and would like some information or advice on what treatment options are most suitable and available to you then contact us for an appointment.