Hallux valgus generally occurs as a degenerative process, but it also may occur in the athletic population. Bunions may be a hereditary condition or be a consequence of a flatfoot deformity. A majority of bunions in athletes may be a result of overload and trauma. The first metatarsal phalangeal (first MTP) joint is subject to a large portion of weightbearing, especially in the high-level athlete. These forces make the joint susceptible to trauma. Injury to the first MTP joint includes turf toe, sand toe, collateral ligament sprains, and sesamoid complex injuries. Poor management of these injuries may lead to chronic pain, stiffness, and instability of the first metatarsal phalangeal joint, which may result in a hallux valgus deformity in the athlete. Prolonged deformity and pain will decrease an athlete’s performance and may prematurely end their career. Therefore, any athlete presenting with an injury about the first metatarsal phalangeal joint should be examined diligently and promptly treated in hopes to prolong competition. Conservative treatment measures are successful in treating injuries about the first MTP joint, and surgical treatments are to be entertained in certain traumatic conditions, but mostly after the athlete’s career or season comes to an end. Surgical treatment options are focused on restoring the stability of the first MTP joint. In cases of deformity, the surgical options are similar to those of the degenerative bunion, and surgical preferences are used at the surgeon’s discretion.
- Hallux Valgus
- Proximal Phalanx
- Metatarsal Head
- Sesamoid Bone
- Plantar Plate
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Simpson, G.A., Berlet, G.C. (2014). Bunions in Athletes. In: Philbin, T. (eds) Sports Injuries of the Foot. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7427-3_4
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