Hallux valgus : this is a progressive deformation of the great toe turning in toward the second toe.
This causes a discomfort when putting shoes on and pain at the side of the foot with the formation of a bump called « bunion ».
Before surgery :
- Once it has started, the drifting of the great toe always becomes worse, but more or less rapidly.
- The pain that urges a patient to consult a surgeon for surgery can be located on the bunion itself or else on the second toe that is folded, or then again on a zone of the sole of the foot.
- Dressings, splints, bunion cushions and other orthotics or corrections are not generally very efficacious.
- To take the final decision for surgery it is required to feel an important, lasting pain or discomfort and have a radiography of the foot which testifies of the abnormal bone deformity through precise measurements.
During surgery :
- The skin incision is conventionally made on the side of the foot at the base of the great toe. Some other smaller incisions on the foot’s back, at the base of the small toes may often be useful.
- The surgical procedure is different according to each condition. It tends to restore a painless foot with a more normal morphology while avoiding recurrence.
- To achieve this, not only must ligaments and tendons be released but the axis of one or several bones of the foot must also be realigned. Once the new corrected position has been found, it must be held by using one or several special small bone screws, just to wait for the consolidation to be effective.
(the screws are usually kept in place for good without sensation of any discomfort)
After surgery :
- The pain is under better control than before especially thanks to the morphine pump techniques or post-operative anesthesia.
- In the early days, walking becomes possible by wearing a special shoe but it should be restricted to avoid getting a much too swollen foot.
- The stay at the clinic may range from 1 to 4 days according each different case.
- No rehabilitation is necessary.
- An 8 to 45 day sick leave is advisable according to the type of professional activity.
Latest breakthroughs :
- New surgical techniques allow to treat Hallux Valgus by minimally invasive procedure, namely by making minimal incisions without screw fixing. The functional recovery is quicker and the hospitalization duration can be shorter.
- These techniques cannot be applied to all deformities and especially not to all advanced forms.