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Hallux abducto valgus

Hallux abducto valgus (HAV), or 'bunion' as it is more frequently known, is a common deformity that affects the big toe joint. For many people a bunion is nothing more than a cosmetic annoyance, whereas for others it can be a great source of pain and discomfort.

What is hallux abducto valgus?

Hallux abducto valgus, more commonly referred to as a bunion, is a deformity of the first metatarsophalangeal joint; this is where the mid foot meets the big toe. The word hallux is the medical name for the big toe and abducto valgus is the position of the joint.

What causes hallux abducto valgus?

The development of hallux abducto valgus is multifactorial, however foot shape and position is a major contributing factor, as is footwear which can exacerbate the problem.

What are the signs and symptoms of hallux abducto valgus?

The main sign that you have hallux abducto valgus is a bony lump on the outside of the big toe joint. The lump is actually the joint of the first metatarsal and the proximal phalanx (these bones form the big toe joint). As time goes on and the hallux abducto valgus deformity progresses, an exostosis can form on the joint, this is extra bone which has formed in response to trauma, which occurs as the deformity rubs against footwear. In some cases hallux abducto valgus can become red and swollen, this is called a bursitis.

How is hallux abducto valgus diagnosed?

Hallux abducto valgus can easily be diagnosed by one of our podiatrists based on a physical examination of the joint.

Benefits of podiatry for hallux abducto valgus

If you have hallux abducto valgus can help you. Hallux abducto valgus is a bony deformity that is progressive; this means that as time goes on it will get worse. If you have hallux abducto valgus we recommend that you get treatment as soon as possible, as the greatest benefits are achieved early on in its development.

If you have hallux abducto valgus you can expect the following benefits following podiatric assessment and management:

  • Improvement in comfort
  • Decrease in inflammation
  • Decrease in pain
  • Prevention of deterioration of symptoms
  • Improvement in foot function
  • Appropriate referral (if necessary)
If you have hallux abducto valgus please visit for treatment, help, and advice.

What would podiatry for hallux abducto valgus involve?

All appointments at begin by obtaining a thorough and comprehensive history that includes both a medical history and a history of the problem itself. The podiatrist will then examine the joint and explain their findings. The treatment for hallux abducto valgus depends on the severity of the deformity, therefore the treatment options most suitable for you will be discussed and mutually agreed upon. If you require a biomechanical assessment to improve any poor foot posture that is contributing to your symptoms then this will be discussed in your appointment.

Treatment for hallux abducto valgus may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory advice
  • Footwear review
  • Orthoses
  • Padding
  • Surgery


Hallux abducto valgus (HAV) is the medical term used to describe a bunion deformity of the first metatarsophalangeal joint.

There are a number of treatment options available for hallux abducto valgus, the treatment option most suitable for you will depend on the severity of the symptoms.

If you have hallux abducto valgus and you would like to prevent it from worsening, or if you would like some advice on what can be done to improve any painful symptoms that you are experiencing, please visit one of our podiatrists who will be happy to help.

To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email or call 0330 088 4222.

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