A bunion is a common condition defined by what appears to be a bump on the inside of the foot at the base of the big toe. This illusion is created by the angling of the great toe metatarsal away from the second toe. As this occurs the great toe, in turn, angles in the opposite direction (this directions is referred to as valgus or away from the body’s midline). It is common for bunions to run in the family. The inherited aspect is the suppleness of the ligaments that stabilize the foot. Additionally, ligament support can diminish over time allowing the gradual progression of the deformity.
The primary symptom of a bunion is the prominent at the inside of the forefoot. And the angulation of the great toe towards the second toe. This deformity can be uncomfortable especially when tight fitting shoes are worn. Other symptoms can include pain under the ball of the foot associated with walking or standing .
Hallux valgus (bunions) are diagnosed through history, physical examination and weight bearing x-ray.
The course of treatment for hallux valgus can be a operative or nonoperative and should be determined by your orthopaedic surgeon after a diagnosis is made. Often non-operative treatment includes wearing comfortable, well fitting shoes.
Your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend operative treatment when pain is not relieved by appropriate non-operative management. There are many techniques for correction of the hallux valgus deformity. Your surgeon will determine the appropriate procedure based upon a number of factors specific to your case.