Hallux valgus, also known as a bunion, is a bothersome affliction and one of the most commonly seen foot problems. Approximately 90 percent of people with bunions are female. Studies have shown that about 30 percent of Asian women suffer from some degree of hallux valgus.
What is Hallux Valgus/a Bunion?
A bunion refers to a loosening or loss of stability at the first metatarsophalangeal joint (the big toe joint), which, when combined with pressure from walking, causes misalignment and deformity. Hallux valgus is determined to be present if the big toe is bent toward the second toe at over 15 degrees. If function of the big toe is impaired, the foot will adjust the gait to adapt, applying pressure on the second and third metatarsals and causing the patient to walk unnaturally or become more prone to falls. In addition, hallux valgus can also lead to other problems, such as calluses, claw toe, bunionettes, flat feet, and even pain in the calf and lower back.
- Pain, tenderness
- Redness and inflammation
- Thickened skin on the soles of the feet
- Calluses or corns on the lump outside the big toe
- Big toe bending toward the second toe
- Inability to bend or move the big toe, which may lead to difficulty walking
- Pain in the calf
- Lower back pain
According to a Hong Kong Baptist University study of over 1,000 Asian women, and the Framingham Foot Study conducted in the US of over 6,000 individuals, bunions are mainly linked to family history and female hormones.
- Family history