Bunions

It isn't necessary to suffer from Bunnion pain. We can help.

Overview

Even though bunions are a common foot deformity, there are misconceptions about them. Many people may unnecessarily suffer the pain of bunions for years before seeking treatment.

What is a Bunion? 
A bunion (also referred to as Hallux Valgus or Hallux Abducto Valgus) is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. But a bunion is more than that. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. The big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment – producing the bunion’s “bump.”

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Inflammation and redness
  • A burning sensation
  • Possible numbness

Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.

Causes

The formation of a Bunions is progressive caused by a number of factors that affect the normal function of the foot. These includes but are not limited to the shape of the big toes joint, the length of the 1st Metatarsal shaft, the direction and strength off pull from the muscles and tendons that move the big toe and those than help control the foot, the shape of the Subtalar Joint and its direction of and extend of movement,  just to mention a few. It is generally accepted within the medical fraternity that Bunions are inherited, so if your predecessors have them, it’s more likely you will have them too. They begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump, which becomes increasingly prominent. Symptoms may appear at later stages.

Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t actually cause bunions, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse. Symptoms may therefore appear sooner.

Diagnosis

Bunions are readily apparent – the prominence is visible at the base of the big toe or side of the foot. However, to fully evaluate the condition, the foot and ankle surgeon may take x-rays to determine the degree of the deformity and assess the changes that have occurred.

Because bunions are progressive, they don’t go away, and will usually get worse over time. But not all cases are alike – some bunions progress more rapidly than others. Once Mr Edwards has evaluated your bunion, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.

Treatment

When Is Surgery Needed?
If a bunion interferes with daily activities, it’s time to discuss surgical options . Together, Mr Edwards and you can decide if surgery is best for you.

“I have performed over 2,500 Bunions operations. I advise patients not to wait and suffer, watching their Bunions progress, treat them early. This reduces their post-operative recovery time and simplifies their procedure”.  Mr S R Edwards FNZCPS

A variety of surgical procedures is available to treat bunions. The procedures are designed to remove the “bump” of bone, correct the changes in the bony structure of the foot, and correct soft tissue changes that may also have occurred.  The goal of surgery is the long-term reduction of pain and the return to a normal foot function.

In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, Mr Edwards will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the x-ray findings, your age, your activity level, and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.

Prevention

It is generally accepted within the medical fraternity that Bunions are inherited, so if your predecessors have them, it’s more likely you will have them too. Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t actually cause bunions, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse so choosing foot shaped, round toed footwear that doesn’t push on your toes is recommended.

Unfortunately for most of us who have a genetic predisposition to Bunion formation, they are an inevitability, despite what the adverts say, if you’re going to get them there isn’t much one can do to avoid them.

Early intervention is recommended to help reduce time off your feet and a faster recovery.

For further advice or to make an appointment, please contact one of our professional team, our numbers and contact details are listed on the Contact page.