What is the Difference between a Bunion vs Hallux Valgus?

The medical term for a bunion is “Hallux Valgus”. Therefore, there is no real difference between a bunion or a Hallux Valgus.


What is a bunion? 

A bunion is a protrusion of bone that forms on the outside of the big toe. This can be caused by overuse and an increase in pressure on the MTP joint. Imbalances with tendons, muscles and bones within the foot can also cause misalignment. Due to the bony formation, the big toe eventually falls out of alignment. Bunions are more common in older individuals, especially women.


What are the types of Bunions? 

The four most types of bunions are:

  1. Hallux Valgus
  2. Congenital hallux valgus: some children can be born with this condition
  3. Juvenile hallux valgus: children between the ages of 10-15 may develop bunions
  4. Tailor’s bunions: a bunion known as a bunionette located on the outside of the pinky toe.


What can cause a bunion? 

Standing for a long period of time or wearing shoes that do not fit well can heighten the risk of developing bunions. Additionally, the way an individual may walk or the shape of their foot can also affect the development of bunions.

 Cause of Bunion

What are the signs and symptoms of a bunion?

  • Inability to bend big toe
  • Pain when bending big toe
  • Calluses
  • Tight tendons on the toes
  • Numbness of big toe
  • Pain in joint
  • Foot deformity at base of big toe or thick skin at base of big toe
  • Redness and tenderness


How to treat bunions?

Unfortunately, without surgery, a bunion cannot just go away. Although there are various conservative ways to treat bunions which can assist with relieving pain and discomfort associated.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories: NSAIDs can reduce swelling and help with relieving pain. Although, please note this is not a sustainable form of management. We recommend you visit a doctor before taking any medication.

Physical therapy: Physical therapy prescribed by a specialist can assist to reduce pain, increase function of big toe, improve muscle strength and restore walking ability.

Appropriate footwear: pressure should be taken off the big toe by avoiding shoes that are too narrow or constructing.

Orthotic devices: a brace such as the ValguLoc Bunion Splint or the ValguLoc II can assist in controlling the alignment of the big toe and relieving pressure. These orthotic devices can correct the misalignment of the big toe and stretch shortened parts of the capsule and / or soft tissues. Postoperative loss of correction (e.g. due to scarring) can be avoided, and the casing helps protect the big toe from certain mechanical forces. Additionally, the ValguLoc II has individual configuration of the correction angle for the big toe thanks to the hinge that can be adjusted three-dimensionally.


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Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.

For assistance selecting the right product for your needs, book a video consultation with a Bauerfeind expert: Book Video Call, or call us on 1300 668 466.




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