2-25. HALLUX VALGUS
Hallux valqus is the name for a severe condition that begins with a bunion. The
word "hallux" is another name for the big toe (the first digit of the foot), and "valgus"
means bent outward and twisted. In the condition hallux valgus, the big toe bends
outward (either over or under the other toes). The large bunion becomes even larger.
a. Cause of a Bunion. A bunion, a painful foot problem, is an enlargement of
the head of the first metatarsal bone (the big toe). See figure 2-13. Signs of a bunion
include inflammation, swelling, and protrusion of the base of the big toe. Often the
pressure of shoes causes the metatarsophalangeal joint to form a bursa (bunion). A
common theory is that high-heeled, narrow-toed shoes were and are responsible for
b. Description of a Bunion. The bunion enlargement is actually a form of
arthritis that indicates that the cartilage and bone under the bump are degenerating.
(The cartilage is turning yellow and is pick-marked.) The turning of the toe and the
accompanying bump may cause a person to have an extremely wide foot. Additionally,
the arch of the foot may sag because of the way the big toe is pulling the entire foot out
c. Signs/Symptoms. Included are the following:
Bony growth at the joint (exostosis).
Inflammation and infection of the toe.
Inflammation of the periosteum (periostosis).
Figure 2-13. Hallux valgus (bunion).