Hallux valgus refers to the outward deviation of the big toe (1st metatarsal phalangeal joint), typically associated with over-riding of the 2nd toe due to over-crowding. And as a result of friction and pressure, the inner aspect will usually become very prominent, often inflamed and painful (bunion).
Hallux valgus/ bunion is not an isolated problem of the 1st big toe, but a complex deformity involving the entire forefoot as a result of muscle imbalances. So patients will notice a change in the shape of the foot with a marked outward deviation of the big toe and over-riding 2nd toe. As a result of the deformities, patients will usually develop painful pressure points over the inner aspect of the big toe joint, on top of the 2nd toe as well as pain under the ball of the 2nd toe. Patients will also find it difficult to wear shoes and walk due to the widening of the forefoot and the painful bunion.