Understanding & Treatment for Deformities of The Foot
What is a Bunion?
Bunions are one of the many foot deformities that can cause pain and discomfit. Also known as hallux valgus, a bunion is a bony bump on the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint where the big toe meets the foot. Bunions develop slowly over time and can make it difficult to walk if left untreated. If you are experiencing bunion symptoms, schedule a consultation online today with one of our premier podiatrists in South Florida to explore proper bunion removal treatment.
Common Foot Deformities
- Tailor's Bunion
- Haglund's Deformity
- Mallet Tow
- Claw Toe
What Causes Bunions?
There are many different ways for bunions to form, but the exact cause is unknown. Common risk factors that cause bunions include:
- Wearing narrow shoes: Shoes that don’t fit well or cramp your toes, especially women who wear high heels often.
- Pre-existing conditions: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis that make your joints swell and hurt.
- Heredity: Some individuals inherit a foot shape and structure that is likely to develop bunions
- Flat feet: A low-arch may cause uneven weight-bearing that makes the toe joint unstable
What are the Symptoms of a Bunion?
The most obvious symptom of a bunion is a bony bump on the big toe joint. More bunion symptoms include:
- Pain, soreness and swelling around the big toe joint
- Redness, numbness and a burning sensation
- Stiffness and movement restriction in the big toe
- Increased skin thickness on the affected toe
- Hardened skin on the bottom of the foot
- Corns or calluses on the bump
Treatments for Bunions
Medication can help with pain and swelling.
- Medications: Pain-relieving drugs like ibuprofen can reduce pain and swelling.
- Cortisone injections: Help relieve swelling in the fluid-filled pads that cushion the bones.
- Bunion pad: These protective pads can help cushion the painful area around the bunion.
- Icing: Apply ice several times per day for 20 minutes to reduce swelling
- Orthotics: Custom shoe inserts and toe spacers to minimize pain
In severe cases, people with bunions may need surgery to manage their pain. The different procedures for bunion surgery are:
- Bunionectomy: The bony prominence is removed by cutting the bone and realigning the joint.
- Exostectomy: The bump is removed from the big toe joint, but the joint is not realigned. An exostectomy is often performed as part of an osteotomy.
- Osteotomy: Small cuts are made in the bone to realign the joint, and a small wedge of bone is removed to straighten the toe. The new break is fixed with pins, screws or plates
- Arthrodesis: The swollen joint surface is removed then screws and wires are put together until the bones heal.
- Resection Arthroplasty: The damaged portion of the joint is removed to increase the space between the bones.
How to Prevent Bunions
There are many approaches to preventing or slowing the progression of a bunion. Wearing well-fitted shoes with a wide toe box and avoiding shoes that cause cramping, squeezing, pressing, or irritation of the toes and feet can help prevent the development of bunions. Women should also avoid shoes with pointy toes and high heels.
If you are experiencing bunion symptoms, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at 305.853.5151 with one of our premier podiatrists in South Florida to explore the proper bunion removal treatment for you.
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