Bunions (Hallux Abducto Valgus)
Bunions (also referred to as hallux valgus or hallux abducto valgus) are a progressive disorder. They begin with your big toe leaning towards your second toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones causing a bump, which becomes increasingly more obvious.
Bunions are most often caused by the inherited shape of your foot that makes you more prone to developing a bunion.
Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:
- Red and calloused skin on the inside of your big toe
- A boney bump protruding from the inside of your big toe
- Pain or soreness that is aggravated by footwear
- A burning sensation and possible numbness
Women are more likely to have symptoms because wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as high heels, can cause symptoms to develop sooner.
Sometimes your doctor can diagnose a bunion by observation alone. Because bunions usually get worse over time, an early diagnosis and treatment plan is vital in preventing symptoms from getting worse. Non-surgical treatments won‘t reverse the deformity itself but can help to alleviate the pain.
Non-surgical treatments include:
- Wearing appropriate footwear. Your doctor will help you determine which type of footwear is best for your situation.
- Padding can be used to reduce the pain.
- To reduce pain and swelling, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be prescribed.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Applying an ice pack throughout day helps reduce inflammation and helps dull the pain.
- In rare cases, injections of corticosteroids may be prescribed.
When Is Surgery Needed?
If non-surgical treatments don’t help and the pain causes interruptions in your daily activities, you and your doctor may discuss surgical options to remove the bunion and relieve the pain.