is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the toe – the metatarsophalangeal joint – that occurs when you move the bone or tissue of the toe joint. This forces the toe to bend toward the others, creating a lump of bone, often painful in the foot. Because the joint supports much of the body weight while walking, bunions can be extremely painful if left untreated. The MTP joint itself may become stiff and sore, making it difficult or impossible even wear shoes.
- Development of a firm bump on the outer edge of the foot at the base of the thumb.
- Redness, swelling, or pain in or near the MTP joint.
- Corns or other irritations caused by a finger mounted on another.
- Limited movement or painful big toe.
Bunions form when altering the balance of forces exerted on the joints and tendons of the foot. This can lead to joint instability and cause deformity. They appear after years of abnormal motion and pressure in the metatarsophalangeal joint. They are, therefore, a symptom of faulty foot development and are usually caused by the gait, the inherited type of foot, footwear, or other reasons.
Although bunions tend to occur in several members of the same family, what is inherited is the type of foot – not the bunion. Parents who suffer from poor mobility of the foot can pass the type of foot problem to their children, which in turn are also prone to developing bunions. The abnormal functioning caused by this faulty foot development can lead to pressure on the foot and within it, often resulting in deformities in the bone and joint, such as bunions or hammertoes.
Other causes of bunions are foot injuries, neuromuscular disorders, or congenital deformities. People who suffer from flat feet or low foot arches are also prone to developing these problems, and arthritic patients with inflammatory joint diseases. They are also other factors such as professions that involve a straining of the foot, ballet dancers, for example, often develop the problem.
Shoes too tight or squeezing the toes against each other is also a common factor that explains the high prevalence of problems among women.
What can you do to relieve it?
- Place commercial bunion shields, without medication, around the bone.
- Wear wide toe box shoes for bunions.
- If your bunion becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice several times a day to reduce swelling.
- Avoid heels more than two inches tall.
- Consult your podiatrist if pain persists.
Conservative treatment for the pain of bunions.
Treatment options vary with the type and severity of each bunion, although identifying the deformity is important during early development to avoid surgery. You should care from a podiatrist at the first sign of pain or discomfort because, if left untreated, bunions tend to get larger and more painful, making treatment more difficult.
The main goal of the early treatment options is to relieve pressure on the bunion and halt progressive joint deformity. A podiatrist may recommend these treatments:
Padded and bandaged
Cushioning the bunion, often the first step in a plan of treatment, reduces pain and allows patients to lead normal, active life. The bands help keep the foot in a normal position, reducing pressure and pain.
Frequently prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections to relieve acute pain and inflammation caused by joint deformities.
It is often used to relieve inflammation and pain. Ultrasound therapy on a popular technique for treating bunions and soft tissue associated with them.
The Shoe inserts may be useful in controlling foot function and can reduce symptoms and prevent worsening of the deformity.
When early treatment fails or the bunion grows more than suitable for such options, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure and repair the toe joint.
The physician has several surgical procedures. Surgery removes the enlargement of the bone, remakes the normal alignment of the joint and relieves pain.
In less severe deformities can use a simple bunionectomy, in which only the lump is removed from the bone. More severe cases may require more complex procedures, including cuts to the bone and realigning the joint.
Recovery takes time, and are common discomfort and swelling for several weeks after surgery. Pain, however, is easily controlled with medications prescribed by your physician.
Your surgeon has been trained specifically and extensively in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of foot problems. This training includes each of the systems and structures, intricately interrelated, foot and lower leg, including skin and neurological, circulatory and musculoskeletal systems, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves so your bunions will be in good hands.