To Fix Or Not To Fix A Bunion?!
What is it?
A bunion is a bony bump located at the base of the big toe. IT can be painful when it rubs against the shoe. Hallux abducto valgus is the medical term used to describe the position of the big toe, and is generally used together with the term bunion which describes the enlarged joint. Bunions are one of the most common big toe problems.
Symptoms of a bunion include redness, swelling or pain at the base of the big toe. Initially a bunion may present as non-painful deviation of your big toe towards the others. As the big toe progresses towards the others, calluses, corns and deformities of the other toes occur. You may also experience limited big toe motion.
How did I get it?
A bunion forms when the big toe moves out of place. A bunion is the result of improper forces being passed through the joint during walking. Excessive pronation (or flattening of the foot) can contribute. In other words, the bunion is usually the end result of a long period of incorrect foot function. A similar but smaller bunion may also form on the little toe side, called Tailor’s Bunion. In both cases, the foot slowly deforms over time due to abnormal forces that force the foot into the abnormal postures.
Your big toe is the big toe for a reason: it is designed to bear most of your weight when you walk. When the big toe is not functioning properly (as in the case of a bunion) you may experience symptoms in your feet, knees, hips and low back.
Bunions are not inherited, but they can run in families. What can be inherited is your foot type, and some foot types, usually the flat and flexible kind, are more prone to bunion formation than others.
How is it Treated?
The initial goal of bunion treatment is to relieve pressure on the bunion and any symptoms that may be present.
Correct fitting shoes are essential to addressing the pain from a bunion that may be caused by rubbing against the inside of the shoe. Corns and calluses should be treated as well. Felt padding can be used to buffer the bunion against the shoe. Padding can also be placed in between the big toe and the second toe which may lessen some of the pain. Keep in mind that these options can help the symptoms, but do not address the cause of your bunions.
Vionic shoes or sandals would be a good option for the shoes since they have already built in orthotic.
Exercise can be performed that may help keep the joint mobile.
The type of surgery varies with the type and severity of the bunion. Often your doctor will take and x-ray to determine a correct surgical procedure. Each person is different and sometimes we perform different procedure on left and right foot.
Surgery is done on outpatient basis. In some cases, patients are allowed to walk right after the surgery. Patients have no pain during the procedure and very minimal to no pain after the surgery. The risk of bunion coming back is very small.
The most common surgery involves realigning the bones of your big toe. Ligaments and tendons may be tightened. If your bunion requires surgery, it is crucial that the cause of the problem is also addressed.
Custom made orthotics will address your bunion by correction the cause of your foot dysfunction.
For Treatment or Prevention of Bunion, Contact Our Foot Experts at One of Our Kirkland, Everett OR Renton Locations.
Taking care of your feet is important to your overall health. Be sure to see a podiatrist at the Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington located in Kirkland, Everett and Renton. Call (425) 678-3877 or visit our contact page to get in touch.