fbpx

Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

01 Overview

A bunion, known medically as ‘Hallux Valgus’ is an abnormal alignment of the big toe. The first metatarsal begins to drift towards the other foot whilst the big toe deviates towards the smaller toes.

02 Details

A bunion, known medically as ‘Hallux Valgus’ is an abnormal alignment of the big toe. The first metatarsal begins to drift towards the other foot whilst the big toe deviates towards the smaller toes.

Bunions  or hallux valgus are a common condition seen within clinic.  Patients describe pain and discomfort from the bump or within the big toe joint or both.

Footwear typically presses on the bony bump causing irritation.  So recall increases symptoms in the pushing off phase of walking.

Over time a bursa can form which is a fluid-filled sac over the joint. Callus and corn formation can occur as pressure on the surrounding skin.

The Prognosis is uncertain. Some patients experience the progression of deformity and symptoms rapidly, others remain asymptomatic.

One study found that hallux valgus is often unilateral(one foot) initially but usually progresses to bilateral deformity.

Causes

  1. 1.Footwear

    It is generally accepted that high heeled shoes with a narrow toe box do not cause the onset of the bunion, but increase the symptoms, as cause rubbing and irritation of the skin of the bump over the big toe joint and pushing on the big toe.

  2. 2.Mechanics

    This is considered to be one of the most common factors, a flat foot can lead to instability of the joint at the base of the 1st long metatarsal bone.  This combined with increased movement and mobility within the joint can cause a change in position to improve stability within the bones at the front of the foot.

    3d illustration of a vector of human feet walking along the background.

  3. 3. Metabolic
    Conditions such as  Rheumatoid Arthritis are often associated with hallux valgus.

  4. 4. Genitics

  5. 5. Trauma
    This is the least common cause, but  non-united fractures, dislocations, and severe soft-tissue sprains around the first MTP joint can lead to the onset of hallux valgus.