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Bunion Deformity

Causes of Bunions - Podiatrist Doctor in Castle Rock CO

Causes of Bunions

Bunions are a condition that affects the joint at the base of the big toe. It refers to the bump that grows on the side of the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. In reality, the condition is much more complex than a simple bump on the side of the toe. The bone just above the big toe usually develops too much of an angle in the other direction.

Pointed shoes, such as high heels and cowboy boots, can contribute to the development of bunions. Wide shoes, with plenty of room for the toes, lessen the chances of developing the deformity and help reduce the irritation on the bunion if you already have one.

The bunion that develops is actually a response to the pressure from the shoe on the point of this angle. At first the bump is made up of irritated, swollen tissue that is constantly caught between the shoe and the bone beneath the skin. As time goes on, the constant pressure may cause the bone to thicken as well, creating an even larger lump to rub against the shoe.

Causes of Bunions

Podiatrist Lone Tree CO - Causes of Bunions

Causes of Bunions

Bunions are usually caused as the result of abnormal pressure or rubbing. Our foot is made up of hard bone covered by soft tissue that we then put a shoe on top of. Most of the symptoms that develop over time are because the skin and soft tissue are caught between the hard bone on the inside and the hard shoe on the outside.
 
 
 
 

Symptoms of Bunions

Bunions are painful. Finding appropriate shoe wear can become difficult, especially for women who want to be fashionable but have difficulty tolerating fashionable shoe wear. Finally, increasing deformity begins to displace the second toe upward and may create a situation where the second toe is constantly rubbing on the shoe.

  • Development of a firm bump on the outside edge of the foot, at the base of the big toe.
  • Redness, swelling, or pain at or near the MTP joint.
  • Corns or other irritations caused by the overlap of the first and second toes.
  • Restricted or painful motion of the big toe.

What Can You Do For Bunion Relief?

  • Apply a commercial, nonmedicated bunion pad around the bony prominence.
  • Wear shoes with a wide and deep toe box.
  • If your bunion becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice packs several times a day to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes over two inches tall.
  • See your podiatric physician if pain persists.

Treatment Options for Bunions

Nonsurgical Treatment

A non-surgical treatment for bunions always starts with adapting shoe wear to fit the foot. In the early stages, converting from a shoe with a pointed toe to a shoe with a wide forefoot may stop  the progression on the bunion growth. Since the pain that arises from the bunion is due to pressure from the shoe, treatment focuses on removing the pressure that the shoe exerts on the deformity. Wider shoes reduce the pressure on the bunion. Bunion pads may reduce pressure and rubbing from the shoe. There are also numerous devices, such as toe spacers, that attempt to splint the big toe and reverse the deforming forces.

Surgery

If all nonsurgical measures fail to control the symptoms, then surgery may be suggested to treat the bunion. The basic surgical procedure for bunions are

  • to remove the bunion
  • to realign the bones that make up the big toe
  • to balance the muscles around the joint so the deformity does not return

Bunionectomy

In some very mild cases of bunion formation, surgery may only be required to remove the bump that makes up the bunion. This operation, called a bunionectomy, is performed through a small incision on the side of the foot immediately over the area of the bunion. Once the skin is opened the bump is removed using a special surgical saw or chisel. The bone is smoothed of all rough edges and the skin incision is closed with small stitches.

Bunion Tips

  • Wear comfortable shoes that conform to the shape of your foot.
  • Wear shoes with a wide and deep toe box.
  • Always fit the larger foot and have your feet sized each time you purchase shoes.
  • Apply a commercial, nonmedicated bunion pad around the bony prominence.
  • If your bunion becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice packs several times a day to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes over two inches tall.
  • Seek professional podiatric evaluation and assistance with uncomfortable or noticeable bunions.