A hallux valgus is also commonly referred to as a bunion. The abnormal growth is found on the joint of the big toe, causing it to grow inward toward the other toes. The bunion may cause anatomical deformity as well as a painful bump on the inside edge of the toe. This enlargement of tissue or bone at the head of the large toe causes pain, difficulty walking, and limited range of motion and mobility.
Your doctor may make a diagnosis of hallux valgus by physical and visual observation and examination. He may also recommend an X-ray to determine severity of bone deformity or damage. In most cases, your doctor may not recommend surgery for hallux valgus unless you experience chronic pain, difficulty walking and lack of ability to engage in normal daily functions.
Several different approaches to hallux valgus removal or repair are available. Your surgeon may opt on an approach with which he or she is most familiar. The most common approach is to:
Following the surgical procedure to remove the growth, you may need to wear a special boot to facilitate walking while the joint heals. Expect some swelling for up to two months following the procedure. You can generally expect a six-week healing time for the bones to heal. During that time, you may likely have some tenderness, swelling and pain. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication for you as needed.