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The Manchester Scale | Grading your Bunion | Find Your Stride | Edinburgh Podiatrist

Hallux valgus, commonly known as a bunion, is a condition that affects the big toe, causing it to lean inward towards the second toe. It can be quite painful and can lead to difficulty walking and finding comfortable footwear. For individuals suffering from hallux valgus, it can be helpful to have an accurate method of assessing the severity of the condition in order to track its progression and determine the effectiveness of any treatments.


One method that has been proposed for self-assessment of hallux valgus is the Manchester scale first published by Garrow et al. (2001) and discussed/tested in a paper by Menz et al. (2010) titled Validity of self-assessment of hallux valgus using the Manchester scale. The Manchester scale is a simple tool that individuals can use to assess the severity of their hallux valgus, and it can be a useful tool for tracking the progression of the condition over time.


A painful bunion
Left hallux valgus more commonly known as a bunion

The Manchester scale consists of four photographs (click here to read the paper by Menz et al. 2010 and see the photographs - they are readily available for free online) of a foot, each representing a different degree of hallux valgus deformity. Individuals are asked to select the drawing that most closely resembles their own foot, and the severity of their condition is then determined based on their selection.


In their study, Menz et al. (2010) found that the Manchester scale had good validity for self-assessment of hallux valgus, meaning that it accurately reflected the severity of the condition as determined by a clinical assessment. This suggests that the Manchester scale can be a reliable tool for individuals to use in assessing the severity of their hallux valgus. For individuals looking to use the Manchester scale to assess or track the severity of their hallux valgus, it is important to ensure that they are using the tool correctly. It is recommended to have a healthcare professional first assess the foot and perhaps demonstrate the use of the Manchester scale, providing guidance on how to accurately assess the severity of the condition. If you're concerned a podiatrist or orthopaedic surgeon can provide a more comprehensive assessment of the condition and offer recommendations for treatment and management.


In conclusion, the Manchester scale is a useful tool that individuals can use to self-assess the severity of their hallux valgus. However, it is important to use the tool in conjunction with guidance from a healthcare professional to ensure accurate assessment and appropriate management of the condition. By regularly tracking the severity of hallux valgus, individuals can better understand its progression and make informed decisions about their treatment options.


Find Your Stride!

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