The Discovery Behind Bunions
By Orthopaedic and Neurology Clinic
A bunion is a painful bony bump that develops on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint. It develop slowly. Pressure on the big toe joint causes the big toe to lean toward the second toe. Over time, the normal structure of the bone changes, resulting in the bunion bump. This deformity will gradually increase and may make it painful to wear shoes or walk.
Bunions can lead to other conditions, including:
- bursitis, or swelling of the fluid-filled pads responsible for cushioning the bones, tendons, and muscles
- hammertoe, where abnormal joint bending leads to pain and pressure
- metatarsalgia, or swelling and pain in the ball of the foot
- difficulty walking
- decreased mobility in the toes
Avoiding shoes that cramp the feet is one way to prevent the developing of some of these complications.
What causes Bunions?
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 will not actually cause bunions, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse. Symptoms may therefore appear sooner.
Conditions that make your joints swell and hurt, like rheumatoid arthritis, can lead to bunions. Shoes that don’t fit well can, too, especially if they cramp your toes. And some people are just more likely to get them because of the way their feet are shaped.
“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.”
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What symptoms of Bunions?
The signs and symptoms of a bunion include:
- A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe
- Swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint
- Corns or calluses — these often develop where the first and second toes rub against each other
- Ongoing pain or pain that comes and goes
- Limited movement of your big toe
See our Orthopaedist that specializes in treating foot disorders if you have:
- Ongoing big toe or foot pain
- A visible bump on your big toe joint
- Decreased movement of your big toe or foot
- Difficulty finding shoes that fit properly because of a bunion
Possible treatment methods?
There are surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for your bunion. The treatment depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you understand the cause of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or the severity of your condition, you should seek medical advice before beginning any treatment.
If conservative treatment doesn’t relieve your symptoms, you might need surgery. Surgery is not recommended for cosmetic reasons; only when a bunion causes you frequent pain or interferes with your daily activities.
There are many surgical procedures for bunions, and no one technique is best for every problem.
Surgical procedures for bunions can be done as single procedures or in combination. They might involve:
- Removing the swollen tissue from around your big toe joint
- Straightening your big toe by removing part of the bone
- Realigning one or more bones in the forefoot to a more normal position to correct the abnormal angle in your big toe joint
- Joining the bones of your affected joint permanently
It’s possible that you’ll be able to walk on your foot right after a bunion procedure. However, full recovery can take weeks to months.