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Hallux valgus - what is it and how to deal with it?

Hallux valgus which implies "crooked toe" in Latin, often causes discomfort when walking, wearing shoes, or balancing. Hallux valgus, often known as bunions, as well as ganglions, can impair the comfort, look, and functionality of the feet.

Throughout this post, we'll look at the illness' origins, signs, and treatments as well as provide you with some useful information you may use to ease your discomfort and promote good foot posture.

What is a Hallux Valgus?

The hallux valgus deformity, often described as the bunion as well as ganglion, seems to be a big toe deformity that puts it toward the outside border of the foot. The metacarpophalangeal junction, located at the bottom of the big toe, is impacted by a hallux abducto valgus. An inflammatory protrusion that resembles a ball on the inner border of such a foot might result from the hallux valgus, in which the metacarpophalangeal junction does not align mostly with the big toe muscle.

What difference between a bunion vs hallux valgus?

Is there any difference between a bunion and a hallux valgus?

We previously mentioned that another name for Hallux Valgus is “Bunion”. It is clear that there is actually no difference between a bunion and a hallux valgus. Hallux Valgus is just the Latin medical terminology for Bunion. 

Yet, there are other types of bunions that are not termed hallux valgus. They are mentioned below:

Types of bunions:

  • Hallux Valgus
  • Congenital hallux valgus: This disorder can be present at birth in some children.
  • Juvenile hallux valgus: Bunions can occur in youngsters aged 10 to 15.
  • Tailor's bunions: the bunionette found on the exterior of the tiny toe.

Causes of Hallux Valgus

There are several reasons for hallux valgus:

Genetics: Hallux valgus has a congenital propensity, which indicates that whenever you own a family connection with bunions, then you also are more prone to get them as well. Nearly 30% of instances fall into this category.

Health: Hallux valgus can be caused by illnesses such as poliomyelitis or rheumatoid arthritis. A hallux valgus can also result from splayfoot, which is a dip in the forward foot's arch as well.

Age: The onset of the malformation may also be influenced by aging and menopause.

Shoes: Bunions may also develop as a result of wearing tight-fitting, pointed-toe, or high-heeled footwear.

Reasons for alleviating Hallux Valgus

Hallux Valgus can also be exacerbated by foot abnormalities that result from intentional or unintentional foot trauma, such as fractures. Hallux valgus can even result from inflammatory alterations in the joints (arthritis).

Other stress-related variables that affect the development of hallux valgus include: Being overweight and spending a lot of time standing up can weaken the tendons in the forefoot, causing the foot's transverse arch to sink.

Who generally gets hallux valgus?

Ninety percent of those who suffer from hallux valgus are female. With age, there is a definite rise in hallux valgus frequency. Hallux valgus, however, affects some extremely young men and women as well: So heredity rather than stressing the foot determines the etiology of hallux valgus.

In nations where people go barefoot or wear cozy, open sandals or shoes, hallux valgus is rarely observed. On the other hand, hallux valgus is quite typical in China and Japan where wearing small, thin shoes is regarded as stylish.

Symptoms of Hallux Valgus

symptoms of hallux valgus
  • Unable to flex the big toe.
  • The big toe hurts to bend.
  • Blisters.
  • Tendonitis in the toes.
  • Big toe numbness
  • Joint discomfort
  • Foot malformation or heavy skin at the base of the big toe.
  • There is redness and pain.

Treatments of Hallux Valgus

Regrettably, a bunion won't disappear on its own without surgery. Even yet, there are a number of conservative treatments for bunions that can help to lessen the accompanying pain and suffering. 

Which doctor should I go to if I have Hallux Valgus?

Medical care is required for bunions. Conservative treatments are an option for bunions. Typically, if you visit a podiatrist within the first indications of the issue.

Your best option is to visit a podiatrist, that deals exclusively in the treating of ailments or injuries regarding the foot and ankle, even though the orthopedic physician can also manage bunions.


Non-operative therapy is the primary choice for hallux valgus correction:

  • Footwear modification to aid in the elimination of roughness at the position of such medial eminence (bunion), for example, sufferers should be given footwear with a broader and shallower toe area.
  • An orthosis could be beneficial for pes planus. After surgery, acute pes planus may cause the hallux valgus to return.
  • Strengthening or even extending may be necessary to treat Achilles tendon stiffness.

Whenever the delicate tissue supplementary contractures and modifications to the articular sites are still in the initial stages, this sort of therapy can be used.

Orthotic products for Hallux Valgus

There are several orthotics for treating hallux valgus without surgery. The patient can use a bunion splint, silicone pad, toe separator, etc.

Surgical treatment

If non-operative therapy is unsuccessful, surgery may be an option. The extent of overall hallux valgus must be evaluated before a surgical procedure is selected. A weight-bearing basic film imaging is employed to accomplish this.

There are around 131 distinct hallux valgus surgery methods. Based on the health history as well as the extent of the problem, many surgeons mix single or multiple procedures.

Surgical Treatment cost

The typical cost of a bunion operation in the US might range from $3,500 to $12,000 or more. However, your real out-of-pocket expense could be far lower. The cost of your bunion surgery will vary depending on the treatment, where it is performed if you have health insurance or Medicare, and other factors.

Recovery time

Following surgery, you should keep your foot dry and take three to five days off from walking. To go around, you should use a walker, cane, knee scooter, or crutches. For any drugs prescribed to you following surgery, always abide by your doctor's instructions. After surgery, you should anticipate some pain and edema.

Preventive measures for Hallux Valgus

The key to preventing bunions or preventing an existing bunion from growing worse is wearing shoes that fit properly. Your healthcare professional can provide advice on how to choose the right shoes. In general, you have to get footwear with soft soles and a broad-toe box.

Avoid wearing high heels that push on the front of the foot, as well as shoes that are thin and pointed at the tip. Custom-made orthotics can help prevent or reduce the development of bunions if you have flatfeet or another hereditary structural foot issue.

Whenever you get a chance, walk barefoot. It will give your big toe and foot a natural massage. Also, try some foot-strengthening exercises every day.

Final thoughts

Bunions are rather typical. Although bunion pads and painkillers sold over the counter might reduce discomfort, you should still visit a doctor. Other forms of therapy may be suggested by your doctor, including orthotics, physical therapy, medication, and shoe adjustments. Treatments can lessen discomfort and prevent the progression of bunion symptoms. If the discomfort becomes unbearable, you may be able to regain mobility through surgery to remove the bunion and straighten the big toe.