A bunion, also known as ‘hallux valgus’, is a common deformity of the big toe in which the big toe angles excessively towards the second toe and leads to a bony lump on the side of the foot. Although it looks like extra bone is growing from the side of the foot, this is actually the head of the metatarsal (long bone in the foot) that has become exposure due to the deviation of the big toe.  A large sac of fluid, known as a bursa, may also appear, and this may become inflamed and sore. 

Bunions are most often caused by a defective mechanical structure of the foot, which is genetic; these foot types make a person more prone to development of a bunion.  

Our podiatrist will be able to provide conservative (non-surgical) treatment for Bunions, which may include: 

  • Exercises 
  • Custom made interdigital wedges  
  • Orthotics (special devices inserted into shoes)  
  • Shoe alterations or night splints which hold toes straight during sleep (helps to slow the progression of bunions in children) 
  • Footwear advice 

These are all conservative measures and they may help relieve symptoms but there is no evidence that they can correct the underlying deformity.  Our Podiatrist will be able to screen for any significant deformity and/or defect that will not respond to conservative treatment, they will then refer you to a Specialist Foot & Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeon for surgery, which can involve a combination of removing, realigning and pinning of the bone.   

If you require surgery, we will help to ensure the best outcome by providing: 

  • Post-op exercises 
  • Specialist scar dressings 
  • Scar and soft tissue release 
  • Orthotics – facilitate recovery and prevent reoccurrence 

RCoPod 2021 


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