H is for Hallux varus

August 14, 2023

Hallux varus is a condition characterized by medial deviation of the great toe at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.

Hallux varus is a disorder characterized by the abnormal inward deviation or angulation of the big toe (hallux) away from the midline of the foot. This is in contrast to the more common condition, hallux valgus, which involves an outward deviation of the big toe, causing it to point towards the other toes.

Hallux varus can result from various factors, including congenital deformities, trauma, surgical complications, and neuromuscular disorders.

Causes of hallux varus include:

  1. Congenital deformities: If there are developmental issues during fetal growth, the structure of the foot may be affected, leading to abnormalities like hallux varus.
  2. Trauma: Injuries to the structures around the big toe, such as tendons, ligaments, or bones, can disrupt the normal alignment and function of the toe, potentially causing it to deviate inward.
  3. Surgical complications: Hallux varus can also occur as a complication of foot or bunion surgery. If the surgical procedure is not performed correctly or if there are complications during the healing process, the big toe may become misaligned.
  4. Neuromuscular disorders: Conditions that affect the nerves or muscles of the foot can lead to imbalances in muscle forces, causing the big toe to deviate inwards.

Symptoms of hallux varus can include pain, discomfort, difficulty wearing shoes, and difficulty walking due to the altered biomechanics of the foot.

Treatment options:

  1. Conservative measures: Non-surgical treatments such as orthotic devices (custom-made shoe inserts), splints, or toe spacers may be used to help align the toe and provide relief from symptoms.
  2. Physical therapy: Strengthening and stretching exercises can be recommended to improve the function and alignment of the foot.
  3. Surgical intervention: In more severe cases or when conservative treatments are not effective, surgical correction may be considered. The type of surgery will depend on the specific circumstances and may involve releasing or lengthening tendons, realigning bones, or other procedures to correct the deformity.


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