WHAT IS A BUNION?
Even though bunions are a common foot deformity, there are misconceptions about them.
Many people may unnecessarily suffer the pain of bunions for years before seeking
treatment. Bunions are often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. But
a bunion is more than that. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony
framework of the front part of the foot.With a bunion, the big toe leans toward the
second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment-
WHAT CAUSES A BUNION?
Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the
foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that
make a person prone to developing a bunion. Although wearing shoes that crowd the
toes won't actually cause bunions in the first place, it sometimes makes the deformity
get progressively worse. That means you may experience symptoms sooner. Symptoms
Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes-
Bunions are readily apparent-
Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that's needed.A periodic office evaluation
Changes in shoewear. Wearing the right kind of shoes is very important. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box and forgo those with pointed toes or high heels which may aggravate the condition.
Padding. Pads placed over the area of the bunion can help minimize pain. You can get bunion pads from your podiatric surgeon or purchase them at a drug store.
Activity modifications. Avoid activity that causes bunion pain, including standing for long periods of time.
Medications. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help to relieve pain.
Icing. Applying an ice pack several times a day helps reduce inflammation and pain.
Injection therapy. Although rarely used in bunion treatment, injections of corticosteroids
may be useful in treating the inflamed bursa (fluid-
Orthotic devices. In some cases, custom orthotic devices may be provided by the podiatric surgeon.
WHEN IS SURGERY NEEDED?
When the pain of a bunion interferes with daily activities, it's time to discuss
surgical options with your podiatric surgeon. Together you can decide if surgery
is best for you. Recent advances in surgical techniques have led to a very high success
rate in treating bunions. A variety of surgical procedures are performed to treat
bunions. The procedures are designed to remove the "bump" of bone, correct the changes
in the bony structure of the foot, as well as correct soft tissue changes that may
also have occurred. The goal of these corrections is the elimination of pain. In
selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, the
podiatric surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based
on the x-