When you first hear the words hallux valgus, they may sound strange and ominous, but after you learn that “hallux” is Latin for big toe and “valgus” means “bent” or “twisted,” you can understand that this is just the medical terminology for a bunion. This conditionis really just a big toe that has turned in toward the othertoesand then it’s much less scary to process.
Pressure on the joints of the big toe causes the formation of bunions. This pressure angles the toe inward and creates a deformity of the bone. It should be noted that there are differing points of view as to what causes that pressure: Some experts believe that the root cause of bunions is genetic. Others place the blame squarely on years of wearing shoes with crowded toe boxes and believe that such footwear is the reason that women are more likely to come to the podiatrist’s office with a bunion than men are. Doctors are in agreement that, while arthritis doesn’t cause bunions, the joint inflammation that it creates can exacerbate bunion-related discomfort.
Signs of a bunion include a bony protrusion where the big toe joins the foot, along with pain, swelling, redness, limited range of motion, stiffness, and difficulty walking or wearing shoes.
If you are noticing these symptoms and you suspect that you have developed a bunion, it’s time to visit the foot doctor. With years of training and experience, your podiatrist is the best-qualified profession to diagnose and treat your bunion or any other issue related to the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, and lower legs. While surgery is recommended in severe cases, if your podiatrist confirms your suspicion and confirms that you do, in fact, have a bunion, s/he will have a range of treatment non-surgical options available, including over the counter and prescription medication or even steroid injections to relieve pain and swelling and custom orthoticsto improve comfort.
Are you worried about bunions, or anything else about your foot health? Schedule an appointment for a consultation with James M. McKee, DPM, FACFAS in our comfortable office in Annapolis, MD. Contact us online or call Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. at 410-224-4448 today.