Bunion – Hallux Valgus
Your first toe or “big” toe is medically referred to as the hallux, and is the hardest working toe of your foot because it pushes you off the ground as you walk and run.
More than 50% of Women in the UK have bunions, therefore is a common deformity. The problem often runs in families although tight narrow shoes and high heels are often blamed. We offer bunion surgery to help with this problem.
Symptoms of Hallux Valgus
A bunion, also called a hallux valgus, is a bony prominence on the inside of the big toe, caused by a misalignment of the joint. The overlying skin maybe swollen, red and tender. Bunions are often painful and can limit what shoes you can wear.
Treatment of Hallux Valgus
Bunions can be treated conservatively (without surgery) using simple measures such as well-fitting shoes, orthoses simple painkillers and padding. Physiotherapy can help improve associated muscle imbalances. Such measures will not correct or even stop the deformity but they can help with symptoms.
When non-surgical treatments prove insufficient, surgery can relieve your pain, correct any related foot deformity and help you resume your normal activities.
Many studies have found that 85 to 90 percent of patients who undergo bunion surgery are satisfied with the results.
Fewer than 10 percent of patients experience complications from bunion surgery. Possible complications can include infection, recurrence of the bunion, nerve damage, and continued pain.
If complications occur, they are treatable but may affect the extent of your full recovery.
As you explore bunion surgery, be aware that so-called "simple" or "minimal" surgical procedures are often inadequate "quick fixes" that can do more harm than good. And beware of unrealistic claims that surgery can give you a "perfect" foot. The goal of surgery is to relieve as much pain, and correct as much deformity as is realistically possible. It is not meant to be cosmetic.
There are several techniques available, often as daycare (no in-patient stay), using ankle block local anaesthetic alone or combined with sedation or full general anaesthesia. Most of the recovery occurs over 6-8 weeks, but full recovery is often longer and can include persistent swelling and stiffness.
The surgeon may take one or more of the following steps in order to bring the big toe back to the correct position: (a) shift the soft tissue (ligaments and tendons) around the joint and reset the metatarsal bone (osteotomy), remove the bony bump and other excess bone or (b) remove the joint and connect (fuse) the bones on the two side of the joint (fusion).
These are just a few examples of the many different procedures available and your treating surgeon can help you decide the best option for you.