Hallux Valgus - Foot Misalignment

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Hallux Valgus - Foot Misalignment
Hallux Valgus - Foot Misalignment
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hallux valgus

Hallux valgus - also known as frost ball, ball toe or crooked toe - is an outward inclination of the big toe in the base joint. As a result, the ball of the foot often clearly protrudes on the inside of the foot. Initially this widespread misalignment is only an aesthetic problem. Later, however, it is increasingly associated with pain.

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  • What are the causes?
  • What preventive measures are there?
  • Which symptoms can occur with hallux valgus?
  • How is the diagnosis made?
  • How is hallux valgus treated?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

What are the causes?

Several causes are usually important for the development of hallux valgus, especially:

  • hereditary ligament and connective tissue weakness,
  • unhealthy footwear - especially pointed, tight and high shoes,
  • chronic polyarthritis.

The base joint of the big toe forms an arch towards the middle of the body, the toe itself turns inwards. At the beginning, the shift is slight and only associated with reddening. Without treatment and with frequent wearing of unsuitable footwear, however, the deformity gradually increases. The increasing pressure leads to painful inflammation and restricted mobility, because the foot can no longer be rolled without pain. Other malpositions that often exist at the same time, such as splayfoot, arched feet or flat feet, result in increased stress on the other metatarsals and an imbalance in the muscles. The pressure of the big toe can lead to further misalignments such as hammer or claw toes on the neighboring toes.

What preventive measures are there?

To prevent hallux valgus, footwear should be worn. In the case of already existing foot deformities, further deterioration can be slowed down and discomfort can be alleviated by means of foot gymnastics and insoles.

Which symptoms can occur with hallux valgus?

Hallux valgus initially develops without noticeable symptoms, because the musculoskeletal system can compensate for the deformity for a certain time. Painful problems only arise when the divergence of the big toe leads to increased ball formation. The following symptoms can occur, among others:

  • Deformity of the foot,
  • Inflammation,
  • Pain,
  • Numbness,
  • Movement restrictions as well
  • Bursa thickening and inflammation.

How is the diagnosis made?

First, the complaints are discussed with the doctor and the foot is carefully examined. Often an X-ray follows to show the changes in the joint.

How is hallux valgus treated?

The aim of treatment is to correct the deformity, relieve pain, and improve mobility and aesthetics.

The following options are available:

  • Advice: Education about behavior, sports opportunities and optimal shoe care (e.g. Hallux special sandals) as well as the positive effects of walking barefoot.
  • Physical therapy: physiotherapy, manual therapy.
  • Orthopedic aids: insoles, ball rolls, hallux night splints, etc.
  • Operation: It is usually performed under local anesthesia without general anesthesia. Depending on the circumstances, interventions can be carried out while protecting the joints or involving the joints, as well as corrections of accompanying deformations. Various methods are available for this. Already relatively shortly after the operation, the patient can usually walk with so-called postoperative sandals - slightly restricted. However, the foot often remains a little swollen for some time. Follow-up care over several weeks is required until the bones are healed.
  • Prognosis: If left untreated, the malalignment usually worsens over time. However, it is not necessarily associated with pain. An operation does not always lead to a satisfactory result.

Whom can I ask?

If you have problems with your feet, you can contact a specialist in orthopedics.

How are the costs going to be covered?

All necessary and appropriate therapies are covered by the health insurance carriers. Your doctor or the outpatient clinic will generally settle accounts directly with your health insurance provider. With certain health insurance providers, however, you may have to pay a deductible (BVAEB, SVS, SVS, BVAEB).

However, you can also use a doctor of your choice (ie doctor without a health insurance contract) or a private outpatient clinic. For more information, see Costs and Deductibles.

Medical aids and aids such as orthopedic insoles must be prescribed by the doctor and in some cases approved by the responsible health insurance company. A contribution (deductible) is provided for by the insured person. You can find more information under The Way to Medical Aids & Aids.

When hospitalization is necessary

If a hospital stay is required, the hospital costs will be invoiced. The patient has to pay a daily contribution to the costs. Further medication treatment at home takes place by prescription from the general practitioner or specialist.

For more information, see What does a hospital stay cost?

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