A bunion is a bony projection or hump that forms at the base of the big toe where it meets the foot. The projection often forces the big toe out of alignment so it points toward the other toes. During walking and other locomotion, the joint of your big toe typically bears a lot of weight. When a bunion is present, it can cause considerable pain and discomfort. Bunions can also cause increased friction against footwear, resulting in calluses and blisters.
A podiatrist can usually diagnose a bunion during a physical exam. An X-ray may provide further information about the joint, the angle of the toe, and if arthritis or gout are concerns to further investigate
Bunions are often inherited, which means if you have family members with bunions, you’re more likely to have bunions yourself. In some people, bunions can develop as a result of the joint changes that occur in arthritis. Bunions also frequently occur in people who have one leg that’s slightly longer than the other. They can also occur in young adulthood as the foot grows and spreads. Women tend to develop bunions more frequently than men as a result of prolonged use of high-heeled shoes that force toes out of their natural alignment and subject the toe joints to continual pressure and stress. Although shoes or high heels do not directly cause a bunion, it can certainly make the bunion painful and swollen.
Bunions can be treated with the minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses a small incision just over the big toe bone. Using very small instruments, the top of the bone can be remodeled enabling the joint to be repositioned in its natural shape. Any remaining projecting areas of the metatarsal are smoothed to prevent recurrence and the tendons that help the toe move may need to be repositioned as well. When bunions are especially severe, a second incision may be needed to straighten the “body of the toe.
Bunions can cause frequent foot pain and interfere with daily activities, minimally invasive bunion surgery at NY Podiatric Medicine & Surgery can bring fast relief. Let us know how we can help you by scheduling your appointment today.