Practice 10-Minute Consultation

Hallux valgus

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c5130 (Published 27 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5130
  1. Robert Choa, orthopaedic and plastic surgery trainee1,
  2. Robert Sharp, consultant orthopaedic surgeon1,
  3. Kamal R Mahtani, academic clinical fellow2
  1. 1Department of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Department of Primary Health Care, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF
  1. Correspondence to: K R Mahtani kamal.mahtani{at}dphpc.ox.ac.uk
  • Accepted 6 September 2010

A 52 year old woman consults you because she is worried about the shape of her feet. She mentions that over the past few months her shoes have become increasingly uncomfortable, and she was finding it hard to replace them with better fitting ones. On examination you note bilateral hallux valgus.

What you should cover

  • Hallux valgus, also known as a bunion, refers to lateral deviation of the first toe at the metatarsophalangeal joint (figure). It commonly presents with medial foot pain, which is especially noticeable to the person when he or she is wearing shoes.

Bilateral hallux valgus. Right foot shows second toe pushed up and dislocated by big toe

  • The cause of hallux valgus can be extrinsic or intrinsic.

  • Footwear is the principal extrinsic contributor to hallux valgus (such as narrow high heels).1 Postulated …

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