Hallux valgus (this is a Latin phrase, meaning foot deformity), also known as as a Bunion, is when the big toe is deformed. The big toe will tilt towards the other toes and will have a bony lump that appears on the inside of the foot. As the toe progressively tilts more out of place, the bony lump will become more visible. This condition is mainly found in women, and it is predicted that 35.7% of over 65 have hallux valgus. Many women tend to develop Hallux Valgus due to wearing tight shoes or heeled shoes when they are young; this can increase the risk of developing hallux valgus in later life. Hallux valgus can also be hereditary, meaning that it runs in families.

Top tips to prevent bunions

  • Keep an eye on the shape of your feet; if you see changes then visit a doctor to find out if there are any recommendations to prevent hallux valgus from forming.
  • Strengthen your feet by exercising them.
  • Wear shoes that fit your feet well and offer good support.
  • For women, they should try to avoid shoes that have a heel or pointed toe (sorry stilettos!).



Many people do not experience symptoms in the early stages of their hallux valgus forming. As you get older, and the bony lump gets bigger, more symptoms will be noticed. This includes:

  • Bulging lump on the outside of the foot.
  • Swelling and soreness around the big toe.
  • Ongoing pain.
  • Limited movement of the big toe.
  • Visible lump of the big toe joint.
  • Difficulty finding shoes that are comfortable and that fit around the lump



Nonsurgical methods include:

It is important to try non-surgical methods. Foot splints work to correct alignment, relieve pressure and diminish pain. Shoe inserts can also help to position your foot correctly, which will reduce the pain you experience when walking. Having the right shoe can also reduce the symptoms from the hallux valgus deformity, as they will fit and support your foot.


A Hallux valgus correction is an operation that corrects the deformity of the big toe. This procedure can also be called bunionectomy or bunion surgery. It is only necessary if nonsurgical methods have not worked to relieve the pain.

You will be considered for surgery if:

  • The pain affects your everyday life.
  • You cannot walk for long periods of time.
  • Your big toe is permanently swollen, even after rest or medication.
  • You can’t straighten or bend your big toe normally.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.


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