The first toe, known as the “big toe” is known as the hallux. The word valgus is the Latin term which describes a deviation towards the lateral part of the body. In other words, we can define hallux valgus as a deviation of the big toe outwards.
In a somewhat more technical way, what occurs is a rotation of the metatarsal, which causes it to move medially. But since the proximal phalanx is attached to the rest of the toes by muscles and ligaments, it begins to deviate laterally, generating a subluxation of the metatarsophalangeal joint. Poor positioning ends up affecting all the surrounding anatomical structures, which can cause pain and functional disability. Sometimes the individual does not present these symptoms and it is merely an aesthetic problem.
What causes hallux valgus bunion?
The causes of hallux valgus are not known, although it seems that the origin is usually multifactorial. The trigger is usually excess ligament laxity and its appearance is frequent in women with a family history of the disease. In addition, its evolution can be accelerated by the use of shoes with an excessive heel and a pointed toe. Being overweight also increases pressure on the joint, making the prognosis worse.
First of all, it should be noted that the symptoms generated by hallux valgus can be very varied. There are patients with large deformities who hardly present pain and, on the contrary, there are others with slight deformities who suffer a great deterioration in their quality of life.
One of the most effective methods to prevent the appearance (or prevent the progression) of bunions is the use of appropriate footwear. Shoes with excessive heels or pointed toes should be avoided. There may also be relief of symptoms if custom orthopaedic insoles are used and, although there is no evidence to demonstrate its efficacy, some patients report relief with the use of corrective splints.
In the most severe cases, surgery is the only option to eliminate the pain caused by bunions.
Hallux valgus surgery
Surgical treatment of hallux valgus is indicated when pain is not controllable with conservative methods. Most orthopedists agree that cosmetic surgery is not warranted.
The goal of the hallux valgus surgery is to achieve proper alignment of the first radius and correct functional imbalances in the foot. If surgery were limited to resecting bone growth (exostosis or bunion), the pain would surely not be eliminated and a recurrence would occur in the future.
You can read more here: Hallux Valgus Bunion Surgery
At Harley Street Hospital, we have some of the best specialists to diagnose and treat your hallux valgus bunion. Book an appointment to get a checkup.