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Surgical treatment of halluxes

Treatment of halluxes can be divided into conservative and operative. Halluxes are nodules built from soft tissue and bone that result from deformation of the foot – most often as a result long-term wearing of mismatched shoes: with heels, narrow and with pointed toes.

These types of shoes cause the toes to be squeezed and set in an unnatural position, and over time they create valgus of the big toe. In effect, the first metatarsal bone – connecting to the big toe – on the side of the inner rim of the foot protrudes significantly and becomes painful. Among the triggers for this condition may also be named as a genetic burden, arthritis, or having polio.


Treatment of halluxes begins with an interview with the patient, during which the doctor asks about his general health condition and any other illnesses. Then he examines the foot – assessing the displacements within the joint, the degree of deformation of the foot and soft tissue damage. In the next stage it may be necessary to make an x-ray, thanks to which the doctor is able to accurately determine the degree of deformation within the big toe.


In most cases, halluxes can be treated without the use of a scalpel – conservatively, through the use of appropriate footwear – but if this fails, surgical treatment should be given, thanks to which it is possible to correct distortions and restore the patient’s comfort in walking. The decision to implement surgical treatment is made by the orthopedist – during consultations with a patient at the orthopedic clinic.

Indications for the procedure

The indications for the surgical treatment of hallux include:

  • severe pain limiting daily activities, which will not goes away despite the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,
  • persistent (despite pharmacological treatment and rest) ailments such as swelling and chronic inflammation of the big toe,
  • big toe deformation involving displacement and bending towards the rest of the fingers,
  • big toe stiffness resulting in the inability to straighten and bend it,
  • no improvement despite the implemented drug therapy and shoe changes.

Operation types

There are several types of surgery that heal the ailment:

Repair of tendons and ligaments around the big toe – consists in restoring the appropriate proportions of tissues, which have become too loose on one side of the big toe and too tight on the other side – which in effect led it to point at the other fingers.

Arthrodesis – a procedure used in the case of advanced deformities and resistant to arthritis treatment; consists in removing damaged articular surfaces and placing wires in them, screws, or plates to keep the surface together until it heals.

Arthroplasty with resection – is usually used in those patients in whom advanced arthritis occurs or who have had previous surgery. Part of the joint removed during the procedure is damaged, thanks to which the mobility of the joint is restored and it heals.

Osteotomy – restores the correct position of the joint through a surgical incision. People struggling with the problem of halluxes are invited to consult the orthopedic clinic in Medical Clinic Podhale, where our specialists will select the optimal treatment method.