What is a bunion?
A bunion deformity, also known as hallux valgus, is when you have a bony prominence on the inside of your feet, at the base of your big toe. Your big toe itself may be leaning towards the second toe. This condition can cause pain and discomfort in everyday shoe gear or when active (e.g. running and dancing)
What causes bunions?
Bunions' causes may be from multiple factors. Some of the causes include but are not limited to hereditary, wearing poorly or narrow fitting shoes, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It is important to note that the bunions do not get better on their own. In fact, with time, the condition itself may worsen and the bony prominence can become more dramatic.
What are my options?
Conservatively, wider shoe gear, custom inserts, and padding can help with the pain. If conservative treatments fail, surgical intervention may be considered. During your visit with a podiatrist, your deformity will be evaluated further clinically and radiographically.
Depending on the severity of the bunion, there are many different types of surgical interventions. If your bunion is mild, a head/distal procedure may be recommended (e.g. Austin bunionectomy). If the bunion deformity is moderate, a mid-shaft procedure may be recommended (e.g. scarf bunionectomy). If the bunion deformity is severe or if hypermobility is detected, a base/proximal procedure may be recommended (e.g. lapidus bunionectomy).
For mild and moderate bunion procedures, the patient can bear weight immediately. However, for severe cases, patients will need to limit weight-bearing activities for 6-8 weeks to allow the bone to heal.
If your bunion is affecting your quality of life, make an appointment today with a podiatrist and see what your treatment options are. Do not live with the pain. It is better to treat the bunion early on when the deformity is mild.