Bunions - aka Hallux Valgus
Hallux valgus (bunions) is commonly referred to as a bunion and can occur in a young teenager. It is especially common in girls aged ten to fifteen. A bunion deformity is a bump at the base of the big toe with the big toe deviated toward the adjacent second toe. The angle of the toe causes a prominence at the apex of this angle. Continuous irritation and inflammation over this prominence may result in pain. While bunions in older women are typically assoicated with the use of high-heeled shoes with narrow boxes, that is typically not the case in these juvenile forms. Children with bunions typically have flat feet and may have increased ligamentous laxity (flexibility), leading to the toe transforming into a bunion.
This condition may not cause any symptoms, but it can also cause pain and trouble wearing shoes. These symptoms are often alleviated with shoes that have a wide toe box and are constructed of soft materials. Other types of orthotics, splints, and bunion straps may or may not have some symptom benefit.
Surgical correction of a juvenile hallux valgus deformity is not recommended unless there is extreme pain and shoe modification did not help. Bunions have a higher rate of recurrence when the surgery is done prior to the foot being fully grown. Although bunion surgery is done on a same-day basis (no hospital stay), a long recovery is common and may include persistent swelling and stiffness.
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