A 'bunion' or hallux valgus refers to the condition in which the big toe is angled excessively towards the second toe, rather than pointing forwards in a straight line. Over time, this excessive angle gives the appearance of a 'bump' on the inside of the big toe joint. This bump is called a bunion.
Bunions can appear red and swollen and can sometimes cause pain. The amount of pain often depends on the type of footwear being worn, the amount and type of activity a person does and how excessive the big toe is pointing towards the second toe. Thick, hard skin (callus) or corns may appear over the bunion due to excessive pressure from footwear. It may also be difficult to find footwear that is wide enough to accommodate the enlarged joint.
There are a number of reasons a bunion may occur. The main cause is often shoes that do not fit properly. Tight, narrow, high heeled shoes cause great strain on the big toe joint. Due to this style of shoe commonly being worn by women, this makes the condition more common in women than men. There is also evidence to suggest that bunions run in families, often due to an inherited biomechanical problem. Bunions can be caused or made worse by arthritis in the joint.
If you have a bunion then an assessment by a podiatrist is necessary. Often bunions can be managed conservatively by the podiatrists at Manchester Podiatry, though some may require a referral for surgical correction.
Over time, bunions usually increase in size and become more painful. It is difficult to predict how fast this will occur. Certain types of activity should be reviewed and an alternative form of exercise may be preferable. High heeled and / or poorly fitting footwear should also be avoided as these can exacerbate symptoms.
There is a danger that the smaller toes may be affected as a result of a bunion, due to the malalignment of the big toe joint. The little toes often change shape or start to overlap. A fluid-filled sac called a bursa may also develop under the skin over the bunion which can be very painful. Early conservative management with podiatry can help to slow the progression of the condition, though surgery may the preferred option to resolve the problem.
Advice about suitable footwear can be provided by a podiatrist to help to slow the progression of the condition and make it more comfortable. Corns or callus that may appear over the bunion can be removed by your podiatrist. Silicone gel appliances can be provided to cushion and protect the bunion. If these conservative treatments provide an inadequate level of relief, a surgical referral can be completed by your podiatrist.
For more information about the services that are available or to book an assessment please call 0161 883 0099
Our clinics are open Monday to Saturday 8am - 8pm. We can usualy see you within 24 - 48 hours. Sometimes same-day appointments are available.
Manchester Podiatry offers a range of podiatry services that are suitable for all individuals. This means that whether young or old, amateur or elite athlete - Manchester Podiatry can help you!
Manchester Podiatry is a leading provider of quality podiatric assessment and treatment services in Manchester and Merseyside.
We are part of Chiropody.co.uk - We provide immediate access to a high quality, value for money bespoke podiatry service. Our podiatrists provide specialist treatments to meet the needs of individuals, case managers, solicitors, organisations, care homes, and sport teams.