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Why do bunions hurt?

Bunions is the generic term for hallux valgus or hallux abducto-valgus.

We like the term hallux abducto-valgus better because it describes what this condition is.

Basically a hallux abducto-valgus is the pre-dislocation joint of the big toe. The proximal phalanx is not aligned with the 1st metatarsal bone. 

This joint is very important in the foot as it is used for propulsion when we walk and run. Where there is a bunion, this joint becomes inefficient in its motion because the involved bones are not aligned. What does the foot do in this case? It shifts the weight to the other joints of the foot, smart/ not that smart move, because now we are dealing with extra pressure on joints that are not meant to receive that extra weight.   Bunions cause long term damage to the joint of your big toe and/or the one next to it. 

The common conditions associated with bunions are: pre-dislocation, nerve compression, synovitis, bursitis and osteo-arthritis. Do not hesitate to book with us to know more about your condition and have a thorough and personalised treatment plan.   

What to do when you have a bunion?

Because of the complexity of this condition, we highly recommend you book an appointment with us so that you understand what is really happening to your foot. 

  1. Most bunions are controlled with the proper footwear and some daily exercises. 

  2. In some cases, when the motion is limited and painful, an orthotics becomes handy (no puns intended!)

  3. When the cases are more severe, a localised echo-guided cortisone injection can be helpful to reduce the pain. 

  4. For long term correction, a referral to a surgeon becomes necessary!  

We finish this article with a pun! Did you know that bunions are called onions in French? After 10 years of podiatry experience, this term is still a mystery to us… 

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