Bunions

A bunion, also known as ‘hallux valgus’, is a deformity of the big toe in which the big toe excessively angles towards the second toe and leads to a bony lump on the side of the foot.  This can also form a large sac of fluid, known as a bursa, which can then become inflamed and sore.

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What causes bunions?

They are most often caused by a defective mechanical structure of the foot, which is genetic, and these certain foot types make a person prone to the development of a bunion. Poorly fitting footwear tends to aggravate the problem as tight or narrow footwear can squeeze the forefoot, crowding the toes together and exacerbating the underlying condition, causing pain and deformity of the joint.

Bunions can also be caused by the big toe pushing over onto the second, causing a crossover of the toes, which makes it difficult to walk due to pressure on the toes from footwear. Once the big toe leans toward the second toe, the tendons no longer pull the toe in a straight line, so the problem tends to get progressively worse. This condition can also lead to corns and calluses developing.

Bunions can also be caused by age, arthritis or playing sport.

 

What are the treatment for bunions?

Your podiatrist may recommend the following:

  • Exercises
  • Orthoses
  • Shoe alterations
  • Night splints (hold toes straight during sleep)

These are all conservative measures and, although they may help relieve symptoms, there is no evidence they can correct the underlying deformity Your podiatrist will be able to identify any significant deformity and/or defect and may refer you for surgery, which can involve a combination of removing, realigning and pinning of the bone.

Once referred, your podiatric surgeon will evaluate the extent of the deformity. They can remove the bunion and realign the toe joint in a common operation known as a first metatarsal osteotomy (‘bunionectomy’).  However, there are more than 130 different types of operation that fall under this title, so each individual surgery is different.

The aim of surgery is to address the underlying deformity to prevent recurrence. As with all surgery, there are risks and complications, so it is not usually advised unless your bunions are causing pain – or are starting to deform your other toes.

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Whether you need to make or change an appointment, want to find out more about a specific therapy or have a general question, our dedicated and knowledgeable staff are available to help. To get in touch, simply give us a call during opening hours or send us a message using the contact form and we will get in touch.

What our clients say

I have been attending this clinic for the last 13 – 14 years. I have problems with ingrowing toenails and have had nail surgery. The care I received was excellent both with the surgery and aftercare

Pam Marshall-Jones

I was quite anxious on my first visit, having never used any service like this before, but they immediately put me at ease. They are so welcoming and friendly, knowledgeable and informative. The clinic is exceptionally well run, clean and organised and I feel in safe hands. Now it’s one of my favourite health “jobs” to do

Mandy Rowbottom

This was my first visit to a podiatrist. I was really impressed on my first visit and everyone was very friendly. They diagnosed my problem very quickly and knew exactly what to do. I was immediately put at ease and, although the problem has required further treatment, I feel that my feet are in very good hands!!! Thank you!!!

Philip Reilly

Very quickly established the cause of issues and a plan to get it sorted. Each appointment has been excellent and very clear on how to tackle the problem. Fingers crossed for flip-flops in the summer!

Laura Starkie

Very positive experience. Lovely people and excellent treatment over several years. My feet are kept in prime condition!

Robert Bogin

Very professional, excellent service, and always a friendly face! You would be hard pushed to find a better Podiatrist.

Sue Sturla-Joy