A bunion is a deformity of the foot where the great toe starts to angulate and cause a prominence over the inside of the foot. This often makes it difficult for people to wear normal shoes and often causes pain on the inside or bottom of the foot. Many people think that the prominence is just an enlarging bone. In reality, that prominence is actually a bone that’s becoming angled within the foot and the bone is trying to stick out.
Bunions are cosmetically unappealing, but they can also contribute to the development of arthritis, sores, infections, and other problems. They can prevent people from doing the activities that they want to do.
When to See a Doctor?
Some bunions are hereditary, meaning that your mother or father may have a bunion and that’s why you have one as well. Patients who don’t have any symptoms or pain stemming from the bunion don’t have to be overly concerned about it. If the bunion gets worse over time then it should be checked out. If left untreated, the bunion could get worse and be more difficult to treat down the line.
Treatments Available for Bunions
There are conservative treatments for bunions. Typically, the splints that are sold online don’t work. They’re really a waste of money. However, there are spacers, orthotics, and alternate shoes that can be helpful for someone who has a minimally symptomatic bunion. If the bunion begins to progress, it’s important to have it treated surgically to prevent worsening problems in the future.
Bunion deformity is actually one of the bones becoming misaligned in the foot. So to approach this surgically, we move that bone back into a parallel position so that it can bear the appropriate amount of weight and that the toe is in a straight position. There are well over 100 different bunion surgeries and each patient’s surgery should be approached differently depending on their situation. It’s a very common procedure that’s performed on an outpatient basis.