Exams and Tests
bunion (hallux valgus) is an enlargement of bone or
tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint ). If you have a bunion, you will notice a bump on your big toe
joint. The big toe may turn toward the second toe (displacement ), and the
tissues surrounding the joint may be swollen and tender.
are diagnosed through a medical history and physical exam. This may
- Asking about your history of symptoms,
including when they started, what activities or shoes make them worse, and
whether other joints are painful.
- Examining your toe and joint and
evaluating their range of motion. This is done while you are sitting and while
you are standing, so that the toe and joint can be observed both at rest and
while bearing weight.
- Checking your reflexes, pulse, and sensation, to rule out other
Tests that may be done
often used to find out the degree of bone deformity or to rule out other
causes of pain and swelling. If surgery is being considered, X-rays can help
your doctor determine what type of surgery will be most helpful in treating the
symptoms. X-rays usually are done while you are standing so that the foot is
bearing weight. In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT scan), or
bone scan are also used.
such as blood tests or
arthrocentesis (removal of fluid from a joint for
analysis), are sometimes done if other conditions that can cause joint pain and
swelling are suspected, such as
rheumatoid arthritis, or joint infection.