Relieve Health Group

Relieve Health Group

Hallux valgus, more commonly known as a bunion, is a foot condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. This condition, characterized by a misalignment of the big toe, can cause pain and discomfort, making everyday activities challenging. A recent study aimed to compare the quality of life (QOL) of individuals with untreated symptomatic hallux valgus to that of the general population, as well as to identify factors associated with the QOL of these individuals.

The study involved 116 participants with previously untreated and symptomatic hallux valgus. The researchers used a well-known health survey, the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), to assess the participants’ QOL. This survey measures eight areas of health, including physical functioning, bodily pain, and general health perceptions, among others.

In addition to the SF-36, the researchers also conducted clinical evaluations, which included a visual analog scale for pain, a foot surgery scale, and assessments of lesser toe pain and pain in other parts of the body. Radiographic evaluations were also performed to measure the hallux valgus angle, the angle between the first and second metatarsals, and the dislocation of the second metatarsophalangeal joint.

The results of the study were quite revealing. All SF-36 subscales and physical component summary scores for the participants were significantly lower than those of the general population. This means that the participants’ physical functioning, bodily pain, and general health perceptions were all negatively impacted by their untreated hallux valgus. In particular, the physical function subscale and physical component summary scores were more than 10 points lower than those of the general population, indicating a significant impact on physical health and functioning.

Interestingly, the study found that most QOL and clinical evaluation parameters were not correlated or were negligibly correlated with radiographic evaluations. This suggests that the severity of the toe deformity, as seen on radiographs, does not necessarily correlate with the individual’s QOL or their experience of pain. Similarly, pain in the lesser toes or other parts of the body was not correlated with QOL or clinical evaluations.

The study concluded that the QOL of individuals with untreated and symptomatic hallux valgus is lower than that of the general population. Importantly, the researchers noted that surgical decision making should not be based solely on the severity of the deformity, as seen on radiographs. Instead, the patient’s QOL should also be carefully assessed. This finding underscores the importance of a holistic approach to patient care, where the patient’s overall well-being and quality of life are considered alongside clinical and radiographic findings.

In conclusion, this study highlights the significant impact that untreated symptomatic hallux valgus can have on an individual’s quality of life. It also emphasizes the importance of considering the patient’s quality of life when making treatment decisions, rather than relying solely on clinical and radiographic evaluations. This research could have important implications for the treatment and management of hallux valgus, potentially leading to improved patient outcomes and quality of life.

To read the full journal article, head to

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