Hallux Valgus Specialist in Bern - Expertise of a French Surgeon
Are you experiencing pain and looking for a hallux valgus specialist in Bern? French surgeon Julien Lopez is here to help. This common foot condition can cause significant discomfort and pain, especially during walking or when placing your foot down. From the initial consultation to post-operative follow-up, the specialist in sports-related and debilitating foot and ankle pathologies welcomes you to his office or provides remote assistance.
From the onset of the first symptoms, he conducts a precise diagnosis of the progression of your hallux valgus to guide you toward the best remedies. If your condition allows, he initially recommends non-surgical treatments to reduce your daily pain. If these treatments are insufficient, and your pain and discomfort worsen over time, Dr. Lopez will consider surgical treatment. At each step, from the appointment with the anesthesiologist to dressing changes, the surgeon will be by your side.
When experiencing pain, it is perfectly normal to seek a hallux valgus surgeon in Bern. Dr. Julien Lopez specializes in this common and progressive foot condition. Benefit from his expertise and guidance throughout your treatment journey.
Definition and Symptoms of Hallux Valgus
In Latin, "hallux" refers to the first toe inside the foot, and "valgus" corresponds to its outward orientation.
Also known as a "bunion," this foot condition is characterized by a deviation of the metatarsophalangeal joint attached to the first metatarsal. In other words, this foot condition causes a deviation of the big toe towards the outside. The joint becomes prominent and results in the formation of a bump, which gives the condition the name "bunion."
The metatarsal bones, also known as "phalanges," should be perfectly aligned to allow natural daily movements like walking or simply placing the foot down.
This progressive deformity leads to walking difficulties, daily pain, and discomfort. Therefore, consultation is essential to limit its progression. As soon as symptoms or pain appear, the specialist in foot and ankle pathologies can provide a precise diagnosis and guide you toward the best treatments.
Depending on the stage observed and analyzed by the surgeon, you will be directed to suitable treatments. They are defined based on the degree of deviation of the metatarsophalangeal joint and are classified into three categories:
- Mild hallux valgus with a valgus angle of less than 20°
- Moderate hallux valgus with a deviation of 20 to 40° causing contact between the first and second toes
- Severe hallux valgus when the two toes cross due to a deformation angle exceeding 40°
Hallux valgus, depending on its progression, is associated with several symptoms that are essential to analyze as part of the diagnosis. Suitable treatments can be prescribed to alleviate them.
Mild hallux valgus is characterized by mild inflammation, potential pain, discomfort when wearing shoes, and emerging daily discomfort.
The moderate stage is reflected by increasing pain, progressive deformation, and discomfort caused by the protrusion.
The significant protrusion of severe hallux valgus can lead to toe retraction or even evolve into claw toes.
A temporary reduction in pain may also be observed over time. However, it is not advisable to let the condition progress without consulting a doctor.
Hallux valgus, in Bern and elsewhere, can cause daily discomfort, which can sometimes be disabling. Some risk factors may be responsible for this, and the specialist can provide more information during a consultation.
This metatarsal deformity can cause:
- Difficulty in placing the foot
- Pain during walking
- Inability to engage in sports activities
- Difficulty wearing certain shoes
- Pain in the knee, hip, and spine joints due to poor balance and adaptations made during walking.
Specialist Julien Lopez takes into account all your pain and any potential risk factors you may be exposed to.
Some factors may encourage the development of metatarsal deviation, such as:
- Hereditary factors when other family members also suffer from it
- Wearing high-heeled, narrow, and/or pointed shoes
- Repeatedly wearing overly tight safety shoes
- Additional foot conditions such as flat feet or low arches
- Favorable foot morphology, such as Egyptian feet, where the first toe is longer than the others
- Chronic joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis
- Age and gender: as joints become more fragile after a certain age, women are more affected by this condition.
Specialist Julien Lopez conducts a precise diagnosis of the stage of progression of your hallux valgus through detailed questioning, examinations, and radiographic assessments.
He inquires about potential exacerbating factors, hereditary factors, the pain and daily discomfort caused by your metatarsal deviation. Based on your responses and the examination of your foot, he can provide a precise diagnosis of the progression of your condition. If necessary, he may also prescribe additional examinations such as X-rays and ultrasounds. These tests can accurately measure the degree of deviation, the severity of your bunion (X-ray), and the potential presence of bursitis (ultrasound). This way, he can assess the other toes and determine whether surgical intervention is necessary.
Thanks to this consultation and the analysis of your examination results, Dr. Julien Lopez will guide you toward appropriate treatments.
Before considering hallux valgus surgery in Bern or elsewhere, and if the stage of progression allows, the foot and ankle specialist directs you toward non-surgical treatments.
These treatments may include:
- Properly fitting shoes: less tight, less narrow, and less uncomfortable
- Custom orthoses to halt the progression of the painful deformity
- Orthopedic insoles with gel areas to support the metatarsophalangeal joint
- Physical therapy sessions to reduce constant discomfort
- Pain relievers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to alleviate pain.
Sometimes, these treatments are not sufficient, and pain continues to increase. If this is the case, Julien Lopez will guide you toward hallux valgus surgery. In Bern and elsewhere, this surgery can be performed using the percutaneous technique.
Following the diagnosis of an angle of valgus greater than 40°, hallux valgus surgery in Bern or elsewhere may be deemed necessary, especially if it causes daily disability.
Whenever possible, Dr. Julien Lopez performs percutaneous surgery. With fewer complications than open surgery, it is carried out through tiny incisions and with the assistance of intraoperative radiographic control. Performed on an outpatient basis, under local-regional anesthesia, and resulting in discreet and aesthetic scars, non-invasive hallux valgus surgery is not always possible. In severe stages, visibility is essential for the specialist. He typically combines both types of surgery, known as mixed surgery.
How is the surgery performed? The surgeon performs an osteotomy through an incision on the inner edge of the foot (open surgery) or through small incisions (percutaneous surgery). Using these incisions and a suitable cutter, the specialist removes the bony protrusion, cuts the metatarsal, and ensures its elongation and realignment. The final step is to rebalance the tendons, joint capsules, and ligaments. After several years of hallux valgus progression, they may become stiff or deformed.
The specialist accompanies you from the initial appointment with the anesthesiologist to post-operative dressing changes. A follow-up plan is also established to prevent the possible recurrence of this debilitating deformity.
When you experience discomfort and pain when placing your foot down or while wearing shoes, it is entirely normal to seek out a doctor specialized in hallux valgus in Bern. The renowned and competent French surgeon, Julien Lopez, is here to guide you to regain natural walking and a pain-free daily life.