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Hallux Valgus (Bunion)

What is hallux valgus?

More commonly known as a ‘bunion’, hallux valgus is a deformity in the ‘knuckle’ part of the big toe, often with a bony lump forming on the outer side of the toe. 

What causes hallux valgus?

Hallux valgus can occur due to poorly fitting shoes, arthritis or because some people have a family history of developing bunions. They often become more painful and deformed due to prolonged pressure and rubbing from ill-fitting footwear.

How is hallux valgus diagnosed?

Bunions can be diagnosed by clinical examination. Further imaging is often used to assess the severity of the joint deformity and to see if there is any other joint disease present in the foot. This is useful for deciding which treatment option is most suitable.

Treatment and recovery

Some cases can be treated effectively with advice on appropriate footwear and specially-designed insoles.

In more severe cases, surgery can correct the deformity and realign the joint. This is often done as a day case, meaning that you won’t need to stay in hospital overnight. You will be given specially-designed wedge shoes to wear after the operation. Follow-up appointments are at 1-2 weeks and 6 weeks. Most people are back into their own shoes 3 months after the surgery.

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