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Hallux valgus (or onion) Definition, Risks, Causes and mechanisms, Symptoms

Definition of hallux valgus

Hallux valgus, often called "onion" by association is actually a deviation of the big toe of the foot outward. Frequently, the head of the first metatarsal is prominent and produces what is called the onion.

The onion can become inflammatory and autoentretient deformation: the angle of deviation increases, with repercussions on all the other toes (second toe claw, formation of a cor ...).

Pain and infection can be aggravated hallux valgus and onion.

Risks and origins of hallux valgus

5-10% would be affected by hallux valgus.

Women between 40 and 50 years are more prone to it, with pain, difficulty wearing shoes and deformation of the forefoot.

Men and children are exceptionally achieved (ratio of 1 man 30 women).
Genetic factors shape of the foot (wide forefoot or foot with a toe first feature called Egyptian foot), wearing certain shoes (heels, pointed toes ...) and finally the age and menopause promote hallux valgus and onion.

Causes and mechanisms of hallux valgus

Several factors combine to result in a distortion:

Hereditary predisposition

A hereditary predisposition made the bed of hallux valgus, with an angle between the first and second metatarsal increased.

Ill-fitting footwear

Hallux valgus is compounded by ill-fitting footwear or poor running technique.

Friction and inflammation

Friction and inflammation generated create a vault at the joint; this inflammation increases angulation and deformity.

What are the symptoms hallux valgus?

The Hallux valgus is visible by looking at his feet, the big toe is deflected outward with a fingernail located in a different axis of the other nails. The arch or swelling is the seat of inflammation at the base joint of the big toe.
The overlying skin is thickened and hardened. The skin is red, glistening from the fulcrum with the shoes.
The hallux valgus leads to a big toe that causes neighboring toes forward with an overlap of two toes: corns, blisters and thus pain are common.
Complications can also occur with toe claws, a true osteoarthritis annoying walking and infections friction areas.

With what would it be confused onion or hallux valgus?

Do not confuse foot deformities related to other causes with hallux valgus.

Indeed, paralysis, trauma or arthritis can deform the foot. An apparatus and / or rehabilitation allow to improve walking and symptoms.

Will it possible to prevent hallux valgus?

Prevention involves wearing shoes fit the foot (size, wide end and round, alternating small heels and flat shoes). The use of protective pads can help to slow the progression of an onion.
Pedicure treatments relieve and prevent the symptoms, as well as stretching exercises and massages.

Hallux valgus: when to consult?

It is advisable to consult early, before the stage of disability or complication.

At an early stage of the onion, change shoes or correct walking technique can be enough to break the vicious circle.

At a more advanced stage, the treatments will be heavier and sometimes less effective.

What does the doctor deal with an onion?
The doctor confirmed the diagnosis clinically.

It will also eliminate neurological or traumatic causes of hallux valgus. With the X-ray of the foot, angulations were measured and the impact on the entire foot visualized: the stage of hallux valgus can be determined (stages 1-3) and treatment.
A simple orthotic may be proposed by a podiatrist / Medical pedicure; it is a protective shell for onions that reduces friction and pressure. Damping products or gel base are available and play the same role.
Anti-inflammatory drugs relieve during inflammatory and painful flare and sometimes surgery is proposed. The operation tends to realign the toe by acting on the muscles, tendons and joint capsules, or directly on the bone (osteotomy).

How to prepare for my next visit?

In case of painful symptoms and inflammation of the joint, the installation of ice can temporarily relieve, pending such an anti-inflammatory prescription and causal treatment.

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