Hallux valgus. Not only a question of the shoe
Malalignment of the big toe is the most common cause for foot surgery. Females are more often affected than males, although footwear cannot be seen as being the sole cause for the majority of patients being female. Female hallux valgus patients can also be found in countries where residents walk barefoot most of the time. In view of this fact, there is assumed to be a considerable genetic component in addition to the risks arising from footwear.
Definition. What is a Hallux valgus?
Hallux valgus deformities can arise at a variety of sites in the big toe and the bones and joints found there.
- Interphalangeal hallux valgus: Malalignment within the big toe.
- Hallux valgus: Malalignment of the big toe in the joint at the base of the big toe.
- Pseudoexostosis: The hard bony structure felt at the joint at the base of the big toe is labelled a pseudoexostosis. The term pseudoexostosis is used because there has been no new bone growth as such. Rather, it is abnormalities in the 1st bone of the midfoot that give the impression that new bone has grown.
- Increased intermetatarsal angle: The continually increasing distance between the 1st and 2nd midfoot bones is the most common cause for hallux valgus malalignment in the big toe. The position of these two bones compared to each other largely influences the choice of surgical procedure.
- Tarsometatarsal joint (TMT joint) instability: A possible cause of malalignment between the 1st and 2nd bones of the midfoot is the slackening of ligaments connecting the 1st midfoot bone to the midfoot. The term tarsometatarsal joint instability is used here.
Symptoms: How can you recognize Hallux valgus?
- Cosmetically disturbing bulge at the metatarsophalangeal joint.
- Increasing deviation of the big toe towards the outer edge of the foot (in advanced stages plus an irritation of the 2nd toe) which promotes the development of a claw toe.
- Increasing problems with normal footwear as a result of the ball of the big toe constantly increasing in size
- Pain due to the load distribution in the foot caused by a progressive loss of the push-off function of the big toe when walking or standing
Diagnostics & Therapy
How is Hallux valgus deformity confirmed, examinated and treated? Learn more about the different therapy opportunities.
Experts for foot disorders: Specialised clinics and hospitals for diagnostics, treatment and therapy of hallux valgus at a glance.