In orthopaedics, Hallux valgus (“bunion“, “bunion pain“) denotes one of the most common, especially among women, malpositioning of the foot (in Germany around 10 million people). The big toe moves outwardly and the corresponding metatarsal bone and metatarsal capitulum (ball of the toe) protrude. At first only a cosmetic problem, serious discomfort can develop in time. Inflammation and swelling of the ball (metatarsal capitulum), incorrect loading and initial joint attrition (arthrosis) lead to strong and continuous pain. Patients suffering from Hallux valgus will either be treated conservatively (Hallux valgus splints) or surgically, depending on the degree of severity. Timely and prophylactic wearing of a Hallux valgus splint can clearly protract or even prevent an operation.
Along with an inherited disposition, Hallux valgus (bunion) can be caused by weak connective tissue as well as load deformities as a result of flatfoot, splayfoot and skew foot, chronic inflammation or injuries caused by accidents. By the way, wearing tight, pointy shoes and high heels (over 3 – 4 centimeters) is not the cause of the deformation, it can, however substantially contribute to the development of a commencing Hallux valgus.