One of the more common presenting complaints to a Podiatrist is a painful bunion medically known as hallux abducto valgus. Patients with this condition usually complain of pain when they wear some shoes, especially tight fitting court shoes, or when they exercise, such as walking or running. Bunions are most commonly treated by non surgical means. This may involve shoe modification or custom made shoes, padding and orthotics. If this fails to provide adequate relief, surgery may be recommended. There are several surgical procedures to correct bunions. Selection of the most appropriate procedure for each patient requires knowledge of the level of deformity, review of the x-rays. Almost all surgical procedures require cutting and repositioning the first metatarsal. In the case of mild to moderate bunion deformities the bone cut is most often performed at the neck of the metatarsal close to the big toe joint.
The most common symptoms associated with hallux abducto valgus are pain on the side of the foot. Tight shoes will typically aggravate bunions. Stiff leather shoes or shoes with a tapered toe box will really aggravate the bunion. This is why bunion pain is most common in women whose shoes have a pointed toe box. The bunion often presents  slightly swollen and red from the constant rubbing and irritation of a shoe. Sometimes, corns can develop between the first and second toes from the friction of the toes rubbing against each other. In some cases, the joint itself can be inflamed from the development of a sac of fluid over the bunion called a bursa. This is designed to protect and cushion the bone. However, it can become acutely inflamed, a condition referred to as bursitis.
If you suffer from this condition it is well worth you while having a consultation with your Podiatrist to see what can be done, it is better to do this sooner than later.






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Page last updated 14 October, 2007