A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions form when the toe moves out of place. The enlargement and its protuberance cause friction and pressure as they rub against footwear. Over time, the movement of the big toe angles in toward the other toes, sometimes overlapping a third toe (known as Hallux Valgus). The growing enlargement or protuberance then causes more irritation or inflammation. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, which is known as Hallus Abducto Valgus. Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe.
Many people with bunions suffer from discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction of the enlargement against shoes. The skin over the toe becomes red and tender. Because this joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Over time, bursitis or arthritis may set in, the skin on the bottom of the foot may become thicker, and everyday walking may become difficult-all contributing to chronic pain.
Due to recent developments in minimally invasive surgical techniques, your Podiatrist can quickly remove your bunions with little pain or time off of work. By using plastic surgery closing techniques, minimal scarring and improved appearance and function is generally the expected outcome.
Causes of Bunions
- Poor Biomechanics
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Inflammatory joint disease (arthritis)
- Congenital deformities
- Ill-fitting shoes can aggravate the situation
What can you do?
- Avoid Injury or Trauma
- Apply cold compresses
- Wear a shoe with good supports and a wide toe box
- Soak the foot in lukewarm water to help relieve pain
What can your Podiatrist do?
- Perform a physical examination
- Request X-ray, bone scan, CT, MRI or other imaging studies
- Determine if there is an underlying biomechanical problem associated with your condition so that once treated, the chance of getting bunions again is minimized
- Prescribe custom, functional orthotics if your problem is biomechanical in nature. This is often necessary so that following surgery the likelihood of recurrence is minimized.
- Perform Surgery utilizing advanced procedures to minimize recovery time and pain.