Hallux valgus is the deviation of your first metatarsal medially, and the hallux deviating laterally as well. In simple terms- your big toe pointing and bending outwards, then making this bump in the side of your foot.
This is not caused by your choice of footwear, but some footwear can aggravate of this condition by compressing the toes when walking.
A factor in acquiring it may be familial inheritance. You may have a distant relative having the same issues. Some are just born with the tendency to develop this deformity. You shouldn’t consider it as something awful, because as long as there is no pain or it is not causing you severe discomfort, you’re fine.
However, as tendons traversing your 1st toe (the tendons that help you do toe raises) are pulled in an angle, it may result into worsening of the condition.
Like any other orthopedic problems, the main reason for seeking medical advice is often pain. They complain of pain with associated redness, soreness, and having a bump in the base of the big toe and are diagnosed with this condition, following radiologic studies. Patients sometimes have a feeling of numbness after a long day’s work.
With visual examination, our specialists can tell what could may be been going on in your foot. An apparent bump at the side of the foot as well as certain symptoms, can heighten their suspicion of you having hallux valgus.
We then would need x-ray images of your feet to determine the extent of the deviation. Measurements can be made to determine the severity of the condition.
There are two approaches we can look into in dealing with this condition which are as follows:
If one considers having surgery as the last option, they can consider these options to deal with their symptoms conservatively.
As there is a deviation in the alignment of the bones, surgical treatment may be considered to decrease pain symptoms as well as to avoid worsening of the deviation. With this, the two most common techniques to correct this are as follows:
You can discuss which procedure best suits your condition with your specialist.
Right after the procedure, you will be required to use a postop shoe. This shoe is designed to avoid putting any weight at the forefoot as well as to avoid toe flexion. The aim is to avoid weight bearing and avoid any movement of the toes. You may also be advised to use crutches for at least a month following the procedure. Physiotherapy will then be initiated and treatments will be adjusted depending on the progress of bone healing. Regular monitoring is required with x-ray as well.
The first few months is critical, especially with the osteotomy procedure, as the bone was cut and it needs a few weeks for it to rebuild again. As the bones of the foot are supporting the whole weight of the body when you stand up, your progress is going to be monitored closely before your orthopedic specialist can decide to allow you to return to full weight bearing with normal shoes.
If patient is committed to follow the doctor’s advice, complications can be avoided and one can now be back to her normal activities of daily living.
Do you think you have hallux valgus and wish to be evaluated by a specialist? Click here.