How To Manage Your Bunion

What is a Bunion?

Bunions are one of the most common disorders of the foot. The symptoms include pain when wearing shoes, a large protruding bone on the inside of the foot, and sometimes numbness in the big toe. A common misconception about bunions is they are a boney growth on the inside of the foot but, instead bunions are a malalignment of the metatarsal in the foot. The x-rays below show a normal foot compared to a bunion malalignment. 

Why do they develop?

There are a couple theories on why bunions form. In most cases, it is due to poor footwear, referred to as an acquired bunion. Approximately 90% of bunion surgeries are in women because of their affinity for heels and tight fitting footwear.

The second formation of bunions is hereditary bunions. Individuals with low arches and flat feet are more prone to bunion formation. Hereditary bunions run in families, and usually become present in teenage years and worsen throughout adulthood.

Treating my bunion

The treatment of a bunion is to relieve pain, not for a cosmetic deformity. If a bunion is not painful there is no reason to have a surgery to correct it. First, someone should try wearing shoes with a wide toe base to minimize pressure over the bunion. Then only if this doesn’t help, surgery could be considered.

Bunion surgery is performed by making an incision through the skin and muscle tissue to the metatarsal bone. Then the tendons are divided, and the protruding edge of the bone resected. After the bone is separated the metatarsal is realigned to the big toe and secured with a screw.

After surgery, follow-up appointments are the key to a successful surgery. At the follow-up appointments the surgeon will inspect the incisions and re-wrap the foot. The most important aspect of a follow up is to make sure the toe and metatarsal are kept in proper alignment. The surgeon will place the patient in a bunion shoe for walking during the eight-week healing period to help protect the progress made from the surgery.

If you are having pain from a bunion. Come into Direct Orthopedic Care (DOC) seven days a week until 8 PM.