สาเหตุนิ้วหัวแม่เท้าเอียง วิธีรักษาและป้องกัน - Causes of Bunions (Hallux Valgus) and Treatment

Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

A bunion is a bony bump on the medial side of a big toe. This condition causes the tip of the big toe to deviate toward the other toes. A bunion can be due to wearing narrow shoes, foot deformity, or a medical condition like arthritis.

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Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

A bunion is a bony bump on the medial side of a big toe. This condition causes the tip of the big toe to deviate toward the other toes. A bunion can be due to wearing narrow shoes, foot deformity, or a medical condition like arthritis.

How many types of bunions are there?

A bunion commonly affects the big toe, but other toes can also be affected. Bunions can be classified as follows:

  • Large bunions
  • Bunionettes, a type of bunion forming at the base of the little toe

What are the symptoms of a bunion?

The most noticeable sign of a bunion is a bony bump at the base of the big toe. A bunion can lead to a wide range of symptoms, such as:

  • Thickened skin (corns and calluses) 
  • Numbness, pain, or stiff big toe
  • Swelling 
  • If the deviation of the big toe is severe, it can lead to deformity of other toes, causing hammer toe or crossover toe.
  • Difficulty wearing shoes or worse pain while wearing shoes.
  • Redness at the site of a bunion
  • An inability to move the big toe.

What are the causes of bunions?

Bunions can be due to several contributing factors, such as shoe choice, bone deformity, or genetics. In addition, putting pressure on the big toe for a long time can result in the big toe bending toward other toes. Common causes that put extra pressure on the big toe include your gait, conditions that lead to inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, wearing shoes with a narrow toe box, and prolonged standing.

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What are the complications of bunions?

Complications of bunions include metatarsalgia, a condition where pain and swelling occur in the ball of the foot; and bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid-filled pads cushioning the bone near the joints.

How does a doctor diagnose a bunion?

  • A physical examination is conducted to assess the foot while bearing weight on it.
  • X-rays can be done to assess the alignment of the bones and joints of the big toe.

What are treatment modalities for a bunion?

Both surgical and nonsurgical treatments can address a bunion, depending on the severity of the condition.

Nonsurgical treatment options for bunions include:

  • Icing: Applying ice on a bunion can help ease swelling and soreness.
  • Medications: Pain relievers, e.g., acetaminophen and NSAIDs -- ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium -- can help ease the pain.
  • Shoe inserts: Shoe inserts distribute pressure evenly during walking, relieving bunion pain.
  • Changing shoes: Choose shoes with a roomy toe box.
  • Bunion pads: Use over-the-counter bunion pads to cushion your toe or foot against the shoe.

The methods mentioned above are mere palliative treatments. They cannot correct the deformity of the toes.

Surgical treatment options for bunions include:

  • Realigning bones in the forefoot to correct the angulation of the joint
  • Straightening the big toe through surgical removal of the part of the toe
  • Permanent fusion of the bones of the big toe
  • Removing swollen tissue
  • Following a bunion procedure, you can bear weight on your heel right away.

Depending on the procedure type, you may be able to fully bear weight on your feet within 4 to 6 weeks.

How can a bunion be prevented?

  • Avoid ill-fitting shoes, such as ones with pointed-toe boxes.
  • Try on multiple shoe sizes until you get the best fit, even if you know your size. The end of the day is the best time to try on shoes. Plus, sit and walk in the shoes you're trying on before buying to make sure your toes are pain-free and not pinched.

A note from MedPark's doctor

A bunion is when the big toe bends towards the second toe. Causes include wearing shoes with narrow toe boxes or arthritis. Treatment is needed if pain occurs. See a podiatrist for diagnosis, treatment, and self-care instructions.   

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Published: 20 May 2024

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