Conservative treatment of hallux valgus (without surgery)
Artifices, such as toe spacers found without a medical prescription, in pharmacies, can temporarily relieve your symptoms, including night pain. They are not powerful enough nevertheless at loading, with all the weight of the body pressing when walking, on the joint of the big toe. When you walk, the whole body weight is carried on the forefoot. This is therefore not correctable unfortunately by a piece of fabric or silicone.
The first step is to adapt the shoes wearing:
- with a shoe sole as rigid as possible (the opposite of “flip flops” so as not to overly mobilize the joint),
- with the top of the shoe in soft leather or in fabric shoe, so as not to accentuate the deformation.
- The use of Birkenstock or Scholl sandals with thickened cork soles and open forward in summer and rounded toe boots in winter should be preferred.
In the case of beginning valgus hallux and reducible deformation, it is possible to prescribe orthopaedic soles with reverse-capital support (before the head of the metatarsal bone), after radiography and diagnosis of the surgeon. These are soles that will support under the head of the first metatarsal bone, and that at the beginning of the deformation, can allow to rectify the hallux valgus in a transient way.
It is recommended to bring 2 or 3 pairs of shoes commonly worn to your chiropodist (possibly sneakers in case of sport, safety shoes if necessary, etc.). This allows the podiatrist to observe the areas damaged by the foot, and to adjust your soles to the shoes usually worn.
When to have a hallux valgus surgery?
There is never an emergency to have surgery. In the meantime, you must use these conservative treatments after consulting your surgeon.
It is you who will judge the appropriate moment, a foot that has become too painful during the gait, or impossible to wear shoes on. It will also be necessary to reach a compromise between your familial and professional conditions (people at home to help you, foreseeable seasonal decline at work, possibility of teleworking, annual vacations, etc.). It is therefore a functional gesture, and in no case an aesthetic gesture.
FROM A PRACTICAL POINT OF VIEW, IT’S YOUR BODY THAT WILL TELL YOU THIS IS TIME…
The work stoppage will depend on both your time and mode of transportation, and whether you are working standing up or sitting. Basically count a month and a half to two months minimum, and three months if you’re wearing safety shoes at work.
Consider stopping tobacco poisoning, if necessary. Nicotine causes narrowing of the blood vessels irrigating the foot. This results in healing disorders, and delays in consolidation.