Bunions | Hallux Valgus
A bunion is an abnormal painful, bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. The bunion is simply the lump on the side of the foot, while the underlying cause of the bunion is a minor deformity called Hallux Valgus. In Hallux Valgus, the bones that make up the large toe are at an angle rather than lying along a straight line.
Diagram of the Foot looking from above.
It shows a bunion as the bump that has formed at the base of the big toe. In addition, 'hallux valgus' is visible as the 1st metatarsal points out (away from the other bones), while the phlanax points in, causing first and second toes to touch. The sesamoid bones are also visible - these tiny discs should lie almost directly underneath the metatarsal bone.
Bunions & Hallux Valgus can occur for a number of reasons, but they are often associated with long-term use of inappropriate shoes. Regardless of footwear, there are a number of factors in the basic anatomy of the foot, including flatfeet or slightly loose joints, that make the development more likely.
The pain in the toe or along the bump can often be relieved with wearing correct or modified shoes. When this is inadequate, surgery can help by straightening the bones and removing the bunion. For more information, see Surgery for Hallux Valgus.