Hallux Abducto Valgus

Hallux Abducto Valgus; also known as a…




Fun fact: Did you know that Dr. Haynes’ wife teaches ballet, pilates, barre & yoga? She often starts a Pilates or yoga class by helping her students find their alignment and saying “bunions touching and heels slightly apart” to find a true parallel foot.  Whether or not the students actually have bunions, the general population usually knows where a bunion is more than the first metatarsal joint or Hallux Abducto Valgus.

Even though bunions are a common foot deformity, there are misconceptions about them.  Many people may unnecessarily suffer the pain of bunions for years before finding treatment.  If you have pain from a bunion make an appointment today!  You can book here on our website or by calling 503-668-5210. 

What is a bunion?

A bunion is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe, but it is actually more than that.  When the big toe points towards the 2nd toe rather than pointing straight then the bones are out of alignment and it produces the bunion’s “bump”. 

Bunions are a progressive disorder.  They begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump, which becomes increasingly prominent. Symptoms usually appear at later stages, although some people never have symptoms.


Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot.  It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion.  Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t usually cause bunions, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse.  Symptoms may therefore appear sooner. 


Symptoms which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:

·         Pain or soreness

·         Inflammation and redness

·         A burning sensation

·         Possible numbness

Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels.  This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men.  In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions. 



Bunions are readily apparent- the prominence is visible at the base of the big toe or side of the foot.  However, to fully evaluate the condition, Dr. Haynes may take x-rays to determine the degree of the deformity and assess the changes that have occurred. 

Because bunions are progressive, they don’t go away, and will usually get worse over time.  But not all cases are alike- some bunions progress more rapidly than others.  Once the surgeon has evaluated your bunion, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs. 


Non- Surgical Treatment:

Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that’s needed.  To reduce the chance of damage to the joint, periodic evaluation and x-rays by our surgeon is advised.

In many other cases, however, some type of treatment is needed.  Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, but they won’t reverse the deformity itself.  These include:

·         Changes in shoewear.  Wearing the right kind of shoes is very important.  Choose shoes that have a wide toe box and forgo those with pointed toes or high heels which may aggravate the condition.

·         Padding.  Pads placed over the area of the bunion can help minimize pain.  These can be obtained from Dr. Haynes.

·         Activity modifications.  Avoid activity that causes bunion pain, including standing for long periods of time.

·         Medications.  Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.

·         Icing.  Applying an ice pack several times a day helps reduce inflammation and pain.

·         Injection therapy.  Although rarely used in bunion treatment, injections of corticosteroids may be useful in treating the inflamed bursa (fluid-filled sac located around a joint) sometimes seen with bunions.

·         Orthotic devices.  In some cases, custom orthotic devices may be provided by Dr. Haynes.

When Is Surgery Needed?

If non-surgical treatments fail to relieve bunion pain and when the pain of a bunion interferes with daily activities, it’s time to discuss surgical options with your foot & Ankle surgeon.  Together you can decide if surgery is best for you. Did you know that sometimes you can walk right after bunion surgery? Dr. Haynes has different procedure options and depending on the severity of your bunion you may be able to be weight bearing starting the same day of surgery.

A variety of surgical procedures is available to treat bunions.  The procedures are designed to remove the bump of the bone, correct the changes in the bony structure of the foot, and correct soft tissue changes that may also have occurred.  The goal of surgery is the reduction of pain.

In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, Dr. Haynes will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the x-ray findings, your age, your activity level, and other factors.  The length of recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed. 

Call now to have your bunion evaluated 503-668-5210

Information provided by the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons

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