What to do if the bone on the big toe hurts: causes, treatment methods, expert opinion

 These bumps near the big toes, visible to the naked eye, not only look unaesthetic in open shoes, but also cause a lot of inconvenience. We discussed with an expert how to deal with this nuisance.

What to do if the bone on the big toe hurts: causes, treatment methods, expert opinion

That very bump, or bone, in the forefoot, podiatrists call in Latin hallux valgus. It sounds beautiful, but it does not look very good ... And it is especially unpleasant that this diagnosis is familiar, unfortunately, to a large number of women after 30 years. According to some reports, today up to 77 million people in the world deal with this problem.


Women, due to the weakness of the ligamentous apparatus and the frequent wearing of shoes that are not optimal from an orthopedic point of view, suffer from hallux valgus much more often than men. 


Why does a bone grow on a leg

Deforming lesions of the joints of the foot, as a rule, are the result of congenital or acquired flat feet . Often a combination of two biomechanical disorders leads to the formation of this pathology: excessive pronation and mobility of the first metatarsal bone. When the metatarsophalangeal joint of the thumb is under stress, the tendons of the thumb are forced to stretch, literally causing it to bend outward.


Additional risk factors (causes of hallux valgus):

  • Wearing high-heeled shoes (over 5 cm).
  • Wearing shoes with a tapered toe (tight stiletto heels are just bingo!).
  • Professional overload, in particular, with ballerinas.
  • Injuries.
  • Unstable hormonal background. During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is produced, designed to relax the ligaments of the pubic and sacroiliac joints. However, in parallel, it affects the entire ligamentous apparatus, including that part of it that is located in the foot.
  • Diseases that destroy the joints (arthritis / arthrosis).
  • Overweight can provoke the appearance of "bumps".

You can often hear the assumption that hallux valgus is a hereditary disease. This is only partly true. Let's say your grandmother and mother had those same "bones". Does this mean that you are also at risk? The truth is that the shape of the foot and the propensity for hypermobility of joints and ligaments are genetically determined. But if you see a doctor, do not abuse high-heeled shoes and do not decide to devote your life to the ballet stage, then the likelihood of a problem will greatly decrease.

"Stone" - calcium deposits? This is a common myth worth refuting. Again, a "bump" is nothing more than a curvature of the joint caused by disturbances in the biomechanics of walking. And the excess of calcium has nothing to do with it. 

But in the opinion that this violation is the lot of "Cinderella", there is a reason.Especially if a girl with a miniature leg is overweight. In fact, it turns out that the smaller structure carries more weight. By the way, this is also why women's feet are more susceptible to deformation than men's.

By the way! "Bone" is not always a symmetrical deformation. It may well form on one leg. This situation is usually associated with general asymmetry in the body.


Why does the bone on the big toe hurt and how dangerous it is

If the first time after the appearance of a lump a person does not experience pain, this does not mean that it will always be so. With the progression of deformity in the articular bag of the metatarsophalangeal joint, which is experiencing increased stress, chronic inflammation develops - bursitis . And then the patient, as a rule, runs to the doctor and complains that the bone on his leg hurts.

Worth mentioning bursitis is not the final stage of possible problems. If the disease develops further, the cartilage begins to suffer, and in the sad result deforming arthrosis of the metatarsophalangeal joints develops.

Big toe bone: treatment and prevention

A minor deformity, if it does not yet cause pain and inconvenience, can be treated without surgery. In fact, the following measures are to prevent further deformities:

  1. Wearing comfortable shoes. No hairpins or narrow noses!If the dress code obliges you to appear at the meetings "at the parade", try to reduce walking in high heels to 2-3 hours a day - carry a "shift" with you.
  2. Training the muscles of the lower leg and foot using a set of exercises. Take off your shoes several times a day and, while sitting, make circular movements with your feet. Then, while standing, roll from heel to toe. Sitting or standing, roll a tennis ball with each foot, etc. If you have time and desire to pump your leg muscles more thoroughly, use balls of varying degrees of hardness or a massage roll. Balancing cushion exercises will also help. It is a compact machine that is convenient to use at home. And if the pillow has a ribbed surface, doing barefoot, you will receive an additional reflex foot massage.
  3. Selection of full contact orthopedic insoles. Such orthoses evenly distribute the load, relieve the forefoot, and, as a result, reduce pain in the "bone" area. The insoles are molded by a podiatrist according to the individual characteristics of each foot. The elastic material provides the tone of the arches and the work of the muscles of the foot. It works like a constant training: over time, muscles and ligaments become stronger, and the leg "remembers" the correct pattern of movements. 
By the way! All kinds of silicone interdigital inserts, as well as protectors, correctors, medical socks (as they are not called only) do not make much sense. They only soften the friction of a painful "bump" on the shoes or restrain a finger so that it does not "go" to the side, but they do not affect the cause of its appearance - flaws in the biomechanics of the foot.

On the Web, you can often find a request: "the bone on the big toe hurts, is a retainer needed?" So, the correct answer is not needed. Thumb fixation can relieve pain during movement, but it will not solve the problem.

What to do if the bone on the leg already hurts

The area of ​​the joint with inflammation (bursitis) can be very painful, so there is a chance that anti-inflammatory drugs will be required. butthey should be prescribed by a doctor - self-medication is unacceptable! Moreover, it is impossible to act independently in relation to interstitial injections. They relieve a sharp pain symptom, but they have a lot of contraindications. It is also important to remember that by numbing the pain, you waste time and allow the degenerative process to destroy the joint to such an extent that surgery becomes inevitable.

Compresses, lotions, wraps based on salt, pine needles, collection of medicinal herbs, propolis, iodine and turpentine will only distract you for a while. It will not be possible to solve the hallux valgus problem using “grandmother's methods”.

How to get rid of a bone on your leg

Operative intervention indicated for severe irreversible deformations.Several hundred techniques for correcting hallux valgus of the first toe have been described in the scientific literature today, and there is no single "gold standard". In the most critical cases, the thumb joint is removed completely.

Often, surgical treatment involves the use of an osteotomy: the surgeon straightens the big toe and metatarsal bones. Recovery time from such an operation usually takes about 6 weeks.

Recently, more and more new methods of aesthetic foot surgery have appeared. For example, a year ago, at the FOOT & ANCLE show conference in London, implants were demonstrated that are placed in case of hallux valgus problem.

but it is important to remember that no operation will guarantee that the problem will not return. Because if you do not fight the root cause - biomechanical disorders in the musculoskeletal system - with the help of orthopedic devices and gymnastics, the joint will be deformed again.

If you notice any irregularities in the work of your feet, joints or ligaments in the lower extremities hurt, do not pull - contact a specialist to avoid serious negative health consequences.

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