Most bunions can be treated without the need for surgery. However, when nonsurgical treatments are inadequate, foot surgery can relieve the pain, correct any related foot deformity, and help you resume your normal activities.
Understanding the causes and symptoms of bunion can help you take preventive measures and decide on which treatment option to go for. Our orthopaedic surgeon can help you decide if bunion surgery is the best option for you.
What Causes Bunions to Form?
A bunion occurs as a result of a problem with your big toe known as hallux valgus. Hallux means the big toe and valgus means that it’s pointing outwards towards the other toes.
In hallux valgus the bone in your foot at the base of your big toe, called the first metatarsal, moves out at the side of your foot. Your big toe angles towards your other toes.
Evidence shows that people can inherit the development bunions. However, it does not always happen that way. Studies have shown that 63-68% of people who have bunions, have a family history of bunions. So, heredity definitely plays a part. You do not inherit the bunions, instead, you inherit the foot type that may lead to the formation of bunions. Certain foot types cause the bones to change position, thus causing misalignment. This in turn allows the muscles and tendons to take advantage over other muscles and tendons and over time these changes may lead to bunions.
Hallux valgus affects more women than men. This may be because the ligaments in the foot (the structures that connect bones together) are usually looser in women than men.
The type of shoes you wear may contribute to the development of bunions. If you wear narrow or high-heeled shoes, this puts extra strain on the bones and muscles in your foot, pushing your toes together and forcing your big toe to point towards your other toes. Footwear alone does not cause bunions, but it can worsen them.
It has been said that in places where people seldom wear shoes, bunions hardly ever forms.
What Are the Symptoms?
The bunion can rub against the shoe when walking and this can lead to pain, redness and swelling.
The second toe can be crowded out by the deviating big toe leading the an over-riding second toe.
What are the available treatments?
– Use a broader shoe
– Ice treatment
– Anti-inflammatory medications
– Special insoles
– Toe spacers
– Foot surgery
What Surgery Do I Do for Bunions?
There was many different types of surgical procedures described for the treatment of the painful bunion. There is no best surgery or best technique for this problem. The choice of the surgery is dependent on the patient’s problem as well as the surgeon’s personal preference and experience.