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What are bunions?

Néstor Gran Ubeira
Traumatology Consultations
05 Apr 2024
2 Min
Health and advice

Bunions or hallux valgus are the most common factor of foot deformity and affect around 20% of the adult Spanish populations, especially women between 30 and 40 years old, according to the Spanish Society of Foot and Ankle Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Gran Ubeira, one of our specialists in the Traumatology Unit, explains what bunions are, why they appear and how they are treated.

What are bunions?

A bunion is a lateral deviation of the big toe or first toe towards the rest of them. This causes the bone of the first metatarsal to stick out, producing a protuberance on the external edge.

Why do they appear?

Bunions or hallux valgus have a multicausal origin, that is, multiple factors are involved in its development. One of them is associated with the type of footwear. For example, people who wear shoes with excessive heels, very narrow or tight shoes are more prone to develop this pathology. Genetics, flat feet, congenital foot deformities, muscular imbalance or certain diseases such as arthritis also influence the development of bunions.

What symptoms do they cause?

When the big toe tilts in the direction of the other toes, it causes a series of discomforts, such as the first toe riding on the second toe.

Other typical symptoms of bunions are swelling around the big toe, continuous or intermittent pain, the appearance of calluses and limited movement of the toes and great difficulty walking or wearing certain footwear.

What tests are carried out to diagnose bunions?

The diagnosis of hallux valgus is made through a clinical examination, usually by a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon. The doctor explores the affected area and decides which complementary tests are necessary to obtain a more accurate diagnosis and evaluate what type of treatment is most appropriate.

Simple X-rays, CT scans or a gait analysis are some of the most frequent diagnostic tests used to refine the diagnosis of bunions.

How are they treated and when is surgery necessary?

If bunions are painful and prevent the normal use of footwear, specialists recommend surgery. On the other hand, if the condition does not imply great difficulty to wear shoes or move, it is advisable not to operate them. In any case, it is up to the specialist to decide which therapeutic option is the most appropriate for each patient.

At Paracelso Sagasta we have a team of orthopedic surgeons highly specialized in foot and ankle pathology, who apply a minimally invasive or percutaneous technique to treat bunions, achieving a great aesthetic result and a quick recovery. Make an appointment today.



Hallux Valgus