Often unsightly and sometimes painful, the onion is a common feet malformation that can have several causes. Let’s focus on its origin, prevention and treatments.
What is an Onion?
Also known as “hallux valgus”, the onion at the foot is a displacement of the bones forming the first medial metatarsophalangeal joint.It also happens that the onion appears on the fifth metatarsal joint, that is to say near the little toe. This is called the tailor’s bunion.
Onion may be painful, but some people with it do not suffer.
Causes of Onion at the Foot
The onion is likely to appear for the following reasons:
– Family history (a large foot or a long first toe, for example);
– Arthritis or other disorders of the joints;
– Neuromuscular disorders;
– A disability at birth;
– The inversion of the ankles;
– The frequent wearing of shoes with heels, poorly adjusted and / or pointed;
– The menopause (which promotes the enlargement of the forefoot); and
– Hyper mobility of the joints, especially the 1st ray
In Canada, only 8% of men versus 38% of women are affected by onion foot. The most common cause is the wearing of unsuitable shoes.
How to Detect an Onion?
When it appears, the onion does not cause significant pain, however, redness or swelling can be seen. A big toe that turns inward is also a first clue to detect an onion at the foot. In general, affected patients experience discomfort in the joint.
Onion Treatment at the Foot
The treatment chosen to alleviate or stop the discomfort of an onion foot depends on how it evolves and the patient’s decisions. The latter may choose surgical or non-surgical methods.
Surgery by podiatrists in New Jersey helps straighten the big toe by putting the bones back in the right place. The bones are then stabilized by pins, screws or metal staples. This method is the most effective and the most durable but it requires walking on the heels for three to four weeks and avoiding driving during the same period of time.
To protect the foot and reduce pain or discomfort, you can choose to:
– Pads to apply on the sore area;
– Physiotherapy sessions;
– Taking anti-inflammatory drugs (oral or gel);
– Wearing suitable shoes without heels;
– Wearing a splint at night to reduce pressure on the joint; an
– Insoles adapted to your foot to stop the progression of the onion
Do you think you’re suffering from an onion? Do not hesitate to contact a podiatric clinic to establish an accurate diagnosis. You will be able to receive advice and possibly consider solutions to alleviate your pain and find your comfort when walking.