Common Foot Problems:
- Heel spurs
- Ingrown Toenails
- Foot Injuries
- Plantar Fascitis
- Flat feet
A bunion is a bone deformity characterized by a bump on the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions most commonly affect women.
As the foot rubs against your shoe, a bunion causes friction which leads to inflammation and pain. Over time, the movement of the big toe angles in toward the other toes, sometimes overlapping a third toe (known as Hallux Valgus) or the big toe may move toward the second toe and rotate, which is known as Hallus Abducto Valgus. Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe.
Many people with bunions suffer from discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction against shoes. As the bunion grows, the rubbing and irritation increases making the skin red and making it more difficult to walk.
The leading cause of bunions is attributed to wearing shoes that are too tight. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, and flat feet can contribute to formation of bunions.
Treatment for Bunions
Unfortunately bunions do not resolve by themselves. There are two objectives when treating bunions: First, to relieve the discomfort and pain caused by inflammation, and second to stop any future growth of the bump. Some of the methods for treating bunions include:
- Protective padding, usually made from felt material, to remove the friction against foot wear. These paddings can also aid in lessening the inflammation and skin problems.
- Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
- Changing to shoes that are designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.
- Orthotic devices to help stabilize the joint and align the foot in the most optimal position for walking.
- Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
- Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly. Splints are mostly recommended for adolescents with development bones that may still be adaptable.
In some cases, non-surgical treatments may not be adequate. Instead, bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, may be advised to remove the bunion and realign the toe.
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