What are bunions?
A bunion, known medically as a hallux valgus, is a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. The main sign of a bunion is the big toe pointing towards the other toes on the same foot, which may force the foot bone attached to it (the first metatarsal) to stick outwards. The vast majority of bunions affect people with a genetic pre-disposition to the condition.
When should a patient seek medical help?
A common condition that develops as a direct consequence of bunions, is hammering of the second toe (a cock-up deformity) and this is usually, but not always, associated with pain in the ball of the foot under the second toe joint. Left alone, this symptom will result in deformity which will never spontaneously correct and often progresses in a relentless fashion, ultimately resulting in dislocation of the joint. Therefore anyone with pain under the second toe joint in association with a bunion should seek help as a matter of some urgency. The other group of patients with a bunion who need to seek help are those in whom an infection of the bunion occurs.
The only “cure” for a bunion is surgery to correct the deformity. However there are many simple things a patient can do to under the guidance of a podiatrist to put off or avoid surgery, such as a change of shoes.
Recovery time from bunion surgery is dependent on the severity of the bunion. Some patients recover in 6-8 weeks, for others it can take months.
To ask a question, make an enquiry or book an appointment, contact our specialist team on 0207 806 4044 or [email protected], the team are available between Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and on Saturday from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Our foot and ankle team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs.
If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.