Bunions, or ‘hallux valgus,’ are a common foot condition characterized by a ‘bump’ on the side of the foot, typically just below the big toe. As this bump grows larger, it can force the big toe over the second toe, causing pain and difficulty walking.
What Causes Bunions?
The definitive cause of bunions has yet to be identified. While some studies have shown a connection with wearing high-heeled shoes, bunions may also be caused by inherited genetic defects in the structure of the foot, or by arthritis.
Bunion treatment does not always involve surgery. Instead, your podiatrist may suggest lifestyle changes, such as wearing more comfortable and supportive footwear, adding shoe inserts to your shoes, or losing weight. Icing your feet can reduce inflammation, as can basic over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.
If your podiatrist does decide that surgery is the best answer to your bunions, there are a number of different surgical options available. Some will even allow you to walk immediately following your surgery.
Concerned about your bunions? Want to learn more about your treatment options? Contact our practice and schedule your appointment today.
THE PAINFUL BUNION DEFORMITY
DEFINITION: A bunion is a bump on the inside aspect of the foot at the base of the big toe.
There is a bone that is unusually prominent which causes the bunion.
The big toe often deviates toward the second toe causing a corn or the second toe to become a hammertoe.
CAUSES OF BUNIONS: There are several theories on what causes bunions.
Bunions are caused by how a person’s foot functions in gait.
Heredity can be a factor, but what is handed down is the biomechanics of how a person walks.
If a close relative has bunions, the way a person walks may be passed on to the next generation which may contribute to bunion formation.
Shoes do not cause bunions though tighter shoes can make a bunion more painful
Studies have been done on people in barefoot societies and they can develop bunions as well.
Conservative care consists of wider shoes, stretching shoes, and padding. Wider shoes made of a soft upper material can accommodate the bony prominence so that it does not rub as much and cause irritation. Shoes can be stretched so they don’t rub as much against the bunion. Padding is another conservative option.
Surgical care may be necessary if conservative care is not successful. Surgery may be performed as an outpatient procedure at a surgery center or the hospital. During surgery, the bony prominence is removed and the toe is straightened.
After surgery, it is necessary to elevate the foot to prevent swelling and discomfort. A special surgical shoe or a cast is worn for four to six weeks or until a regular shoe can be worn.
Bunions are a common foot ailment. Fortunately, there are various treatment options to alleviate this foot problem.