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At what inclination is the deformity of the big toe considered a bunion?

Bunions affect 20% of the Spanish population between 18 and 65 years old, especially women, according to the Spanish Society of Foot and Ankle Medicine and Surgery. In fact, It is the most common deformity of the foot and has a multi-causal origin.. The degree to which certain factors come into play, or not, depends on each person.

Women between 30 and 40 years old are the most affected. And it is a problem from which not even the most famous people escape, it is known that Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell, Oprah Winfrey or Victoria Beckham.

The reason why this deformation is much more common in women than in men is the type of footwear. Shoes with excessive heels and very narrow lasts are those that are associated with greater development of hallux valgus.

The deformity occurs when the big toe deviates inward, becoming positioned below or above the second toe, which causes deformities.

What is a bunion?

Also called hallux valgus, the bunion is a lateral deviation of the first toe towards the rest of the toes. This causes a prominence of the head of the first metatarsal, causing an angle between that bone (the metatarsal of the first toe) with the first phalanx of the big toe.

Types of bunions

  • Mild: The angle of the metacarpophalangeal joint is less than 20º.
  • Moderate: The metacarpophalangeal angle ranges between 20º and 40º.
  • Serious: The angle at the joint of the first phalanx of the big toe and the first metacarpal is greater than 40º.

The factor that triggers the appearance of a bunion is a progressive deformity of the metacarpophalangeal joint of the first toe. and finger deviation. Likewise, this is accompanied by the appearance of bone proliferation in the head of the first metatarsal and inflammation of the joint and the bursa, a bag next to this joint.

In addition to this deformity, The appearance of bunions is characterized by the presence of deformity, pain in the region of the metatarsophalangeal joint of the first toe. (the junction between the toe and the rest of the first foot), sometimes radiating to the rest of the metatarsus. This pain worsens when walking, or when wearing shoes that constrict the foot.

Origin of bunions

  • Pathological: those associated with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or gouty arthritis.
  • Congenital: those caused by congenital anomalies in the joint of the first phalanx of the finger with the first metatarsal.
  • Acquired: those that are influenced by extrinsic and intrinsic (genetic) factors for their appearance.

Genetics plays an important and determining role in almost 80% of cases. The shape and structure of the bones and joints of the feet is inherited. The age of appearance is related to the cause of origin; in this way, hereditary bunions can appear in young people. However, those derived from other foot deformities, the use of incorrect footwear and other inflammatory or rheumatological diseases such as osteoporosis cause their incidence to increase at an older age.

How to cure a bunion

Depending on the evolution of the deformity, one therapy or another should be instituted. It is important to prevent the disease from reaching the last stage, in which the articular cartilage begins to degenerate and damage other structures such as tendons or plantar fat.

According to medical specialists, surgery should be performed when the pathology becomes painful and there is an inability to walk and put on shoes normally.

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