Bunions (Hallux Valgus) looks like a bump or swelling on the side of the foot near the big toe knuckle joint. While you might initially notice that the skin is red, bunions actually reflect a change in the structure of the big toe. They can eventually become quite painful.
In the early stages of formation, bunions may not have any symptoms. However, as they progress, bunions can cause:
The cause of bunions is unknown, however, bunions, like foot shape, can be hereditary and we often hear patients tell us of how terrible their grandmother’s feet were. They can also be caused by trauma, or arthritis. Bunions get worse over time and if left untreated they can lead to arthritis of the big toe joint.
Dr Simon Platt can usually make a diagnosis of hallux valgus by getting a detailed history from you and examining your foot. An X-Ray is usually done to confirm the diagnosis, and the extent of the condition.
The good news is that bunions respond well to treatment and Dr Platt can prepare a treatment plan for you. In early cases with mild symptoms, changing your shoe wear and activity may be enough to ease symptoms. It may also be useful to consider orthotics. Simple over the counter analgesics can also be very helpful in alleviating symptoms in mild cases.
Surgery is performed when symptoms are severe or do not improve. Surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and is usually a day procedure.
Dr Platt will talk through the treatment options that are right for you. All surgery is tailored specifically to your bunion.
The symptoms usually resolve rapidly after surgery; however, all foot surgery tends to take a little longer than most people anticipate. Dr Platt will take the time to talk with you about what to expect.
Recovery from surgery
Recovery time varies depending on the severity of your condition and the nature of the surgery performed. Recovery may take up to 6 months. Some patients may have stiffness or aching for some time after the surgery. The stiffness and aches usually resolve completely within 18 months. Occasionally, additional treatment or surgery may be required if there is an unanticipated outcome. For general post-operative advice, CLICK HERE.