Bunions (Hallux valgus)

Metatarsalgia (forefoot pain)
November 19, 2015
Fallen transverse arches
November 19, 2015

This complaint when the big toe turns towards the other toes affects many people.

  • Development
    The complaint begins when the transverse arch drops, the foot spreads and because of this the first and second metatarsals move away from each other. The tendons firmly attached to the proximal phalange of the big toe do not shorten, thus breaking the base joint of the big toe and drawing it towards and under the second toe. The second toe, making space for the big toe, deforms in a hammer toe-like manner.
  • Symptoms
    Due to the constant irritation of the shoe, a small fluid-filled sac (bursa) above the inward pointing bunion often becomes inflamed and sometimes even festers. (The condition is very painful even without inflammation.) The inflammation can spread to the surrounding membrane lining the outer surface of the bone. Due to the fallen transverse arch, a painful callus develops on the sole but hammer toe is awful in itself (see below).
  • Prevention
    It is very important to know that bunions and hammer toes develop due to dropped transverse arches so using orthotic insoles in time can prevent their development.
  • Pressure map
    Due to the dropped transverse arch, the forefoot does not touch the ground in the usual places but at the head of the 3rd metatarsal (1) and on the heel. This means that the foot rests on two points instead of three, and this uncertain contact with the ground causes the muscles of the calves and thighs to tire more quickly. The absence of the arch means that walking loses its flexibility and ease. This is especially disturbing for people who do sport. The foot spreads, that is to say the metatarsals fan out from each other. The big toe turns inwards (3) as the strong ligament attached to it pulls it inwards. A swelling forms on the first joint of the toe (2), which is called a bunion or hallux valgus.
  • Treatment
    A good orthotic insole has an important role in preventing both the development and further deterioration of bunions. Prolonged use of the orthotics may lead to the regeneration of the arch. Fixed, neglected bunions can only be removed surgically. After the operation, wearing an orthosis is “obligatory”.