Hallux Valgus (Bunions)

What is a Hallux valgus and what happens to the toe?

Hallux valgus is most often called a bunion. Hallux valgus is a Latin term, with the word “hallux” meaning big toe and “valgus” meaning pointing out to the lateral side.

It happens when:

  • The big toe moves out of position and points out towards the smaller toes
  • A bump appears at the base of the toe (bunion)
  • There is pain, swelling and redness over the bump
  • Getting shoes which fit can be a problem 

If the deformity gets worse problems can then affect the smaller toes. The ball of the foot can become painful and the lesser toes can claw or hammer.

Do badly fitting shoes cause Hallux Valgus?

No, it is unlikely badly fitting or the wrong type of shoes caused the problem.

  • Hallux valgus most commonly runs in families. 

Badly fitting shoes may cause the problem to get worse once it has started. They will also cause more pain and discomfort in the feet.              

What Treatment is there for Hallux Valgus?

There are simple treatments which do not involve an operation. For people with milder hallux valgus problems these can sometimes give some relief.

These include: 

  • wearing softer, wider fronted shoes
  • wearing insoles

A specialist podiatrist will be able to give advice on these types of treatment. 

What about surgery for hallux valgus?

Find out about surgical options >

Interested in treatment options?

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