• What is?
  • Causes
  • Treatment

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion also known as hallux valgus or hallux abducto valgus is a biomechanical condition of the foot that causes progressive changes to the boney framework causing of the first metatarsal phlangeal joint causing the big toe to drift toward the second toe. This condition also produces the classic bony bump with an increasing prominence of the bump as the condition progresses. Symptoms include pain especially walking, soreness, inflammation, redness and numbness. Diagnosis of this condition is simple. An evaluation of the foot and some x-rays to determine the progression of the condition is all that is needed for proper diagnosis and treatment planning.


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Causes

Bunions are caused by abnormal biomechanics of the foot. This leads to structural changes and adaptations of the boney framework in the foot which causes a deviation of the great toe onto the second toe with the formation of the bump at the joint of the great toe. Bunions are not an inherited condition from family members. It is rather the poor foot mechanics that is passed down. Bunions if left untreated can evolve to be a very painful condition especially when bearing weight. If the bunion progresses even finding shoe gear that fits without discomfort can be quite challenging.

Treatment

There are many different treatment options for bunions. Conservative treatment includes wearing proper shoe gear that has a wide toe box and avoiding narrow toed shoes such as dress shoes especially high heels that may aggravate the condition. Padding can also be placed over the bump to alleviate pain and irritation to the bump as it may rub again the shoe. Also it is important to avoid activities that irritate the condition. Icing the area after a long day on your feet can also help decrease inflammation and pain. You can also take anti-inflammatories to help decrease inflammation and pain associated with the bunion pain. Injection therapy using steroids have also shown some benefit to pain associated with bunions. Custom molded orthotic devices can also be used. These are inserts that are custom molded to your foot to correct the poor biomechanics of the foot that can alleviate pain associated with bunions but also slow the progression of bunions in their juvenile state. If all these treatment fail to alleviate the symptoms associated with bunions then there are many surgical options and procedures available that your podiatric surgeons here at Atlantic Foot and Ankle can discuss with you. Please just visit any of our five locations, Savannah, Hinesville, Statesboro, Claxton, or Bluffton and speak with our podiatrists to create a treatment plan perfectly suited to you and your needs.

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