Valgus deformity of the first toe, or Hallux abducto valgus, is a common deformity of the foot. It is caused by disturbed biomechanics of the foot – in other words, the wrong gait and inadequate load. The main reason for the formation of a “bump” is the incorrect distribution of body weight when walking, due to which the load increases precisely on the forefoot, on the fingers. Most often, this is a consequence of flat feet with the destruction of the transverse arch. The initial weakness of the ligamentous-muscular apparatus of the feet is genetically determined, which is why so often the bone in the thumb turns out to be a family problem: my grandmother had it, my mother has it, and my daughter will have it.
Other risk factors (besides genetics) that can catalyze the development of bumps include:
- Obesity. Excess weight puts pressure on the joints and puts extra stress on the feet.
- Wearing tight shoes. The wrong block causes the thumb to deviate inward, the foot adapts to walking in such an unnatural position – over time, the curvature becomes habitual;
- Wearing shoes with high heels (above 4 cm). You are forcibly transferring all the weight to the forefoot.
Hallux valgus can develop in adolescence and progress into adulthood. The appearance and development of “bumps” is accompanied by corns, redness of the fingers from friction and pain. The choice of shoes with a pronounced deformity of the forefoot becomes more complicated.
You may have heard about chamomile baths, compresses and iodine nets, which, according to someone’s plan, should get rid of “bumps” on the legs. Unfortunately, these tools don’t work. A protruding bone on the big toe is an orthopedic problem, and only a doctor can solve it.
At the initial stage of development of the deformity, conservative treatment can be applied. For example, wearing orthopedic insoles, various interdigital inserts and / or a nightly abductor thumb brace.
To prevent deformities of the feet, you need to approach the choice of shoes rationally. Choose comfortable shoes that do not constrain your foot, with heels up to 4 centimeters, avoid high heels. Go in for sports and train your foot muscles with the help of special gymnastics.
With severe deformities of the foot, one has to resort to surgical methods of treatment. Everything is far from being as simple as it is usually told in commercials, therefore, if you decide to take this step, you will have to look for professionals who are highly specialized in foot surgery, who have many years of experience and a large number of successfully performed operations. A doctor who specializes in the detection, treatment and prevention of diseases of the foot and lower leg is called a podiatrist or podologist.
It is possible to eliminate the deformity of the foot and reduce the first intertarsal angle using various types of osteotomy (dissection or artificial fracture of the bone). Often, during the operation, the bones are fixed with special screws.
Thanks to modern technologies, patients can walk in special shoes already on the second day after the operation, but it is impossible to predict the full rehabilitation period: each case is individual, much depends on the number of corrected bones. Just keep in mind that even after the “lightest” surgery, the recovery period takes about eight weeks. Moreover, the older the patient, the slower the bones grow together.
The risk that a second operation will be needed is difficult to predict, but it exists. That is why an operation such as osteotomy should be done only for medical reasons, when the quality of life objectively suffers: for example, because of the deformity of the foot, it is painful to walk, as a result, you have to give up long walks or sports – this in itself is harmful to health , the risk of operation is justified.
If, from an aesthetic point of view, you simply do not like how the bone sticks out, it is much safer to change the style of clothing and, accordingly, shoes. Sometimes special custom-made orthopedic shoes may be required.