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Bunions Can Be Painful And They Usually Worsen In Stages.
Generally, wearing shoes that are too small or too narrow in the toe area can cause a pressure affect on the area causing a bunion. Through time the constant friction of poorly fitting shoes against the big toe joint forces your toes to become misaligned causing pain and discomfort and eventually will impact how you walk.
The increased intense bunion foot pain makes walking and other activities extremely difficult. Since the involved joint is a significant structure in providing weight-bearing stability, walking on the foot while trying to avoid putting pressure on the painful bunion area can to lead a shifting gait that further aggravates the situation.
What Causes Bunions?
A bunion is a foot deformity consisting of bone and soft tissue and forms as a bony bump at the base of your big toe. As the bunion grows, it forces your big toe to start pointing inward to your second toe. Over time, a painful lump appears at the side of the joint, causing the big toe to buckle and move sideway towards the second toe.
As the big toe moves sideways unnaturally, it can push the second toe sideways as well causing an extreme deformity of the foot, and you may complain not only of significant pain, but also the inability to find shoes that fit.
A tailor’s bunion, also called a bunionette, is a bony lump that forms along the side of the little toe. The associated pain caused by the bunionette is called tailor’s bunion pain. It happens when the fifth metatarsal bone enlarges or shifts outward. The fifth metatarsal is the very bottom bone on the little toe and when necessary may require tailor’s bunion surgery.
Are Some People More Prone To Bunions?
In some cases bunion formation can be hereditary so if bunions run in the family then family members are at an increased risk of developing bunions as well. Bunions can also be a result of a congenital deformity, which means that the individual was born with an anatomical condition that made the development of a bunion more likely.
At times, bunions may begin to form in adolescence. Other conditions that contribute to bunion formation include flat-footedness, a tight Achilles tendon, and rheumatoid arthritis. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the chance that significant deformity will be avoided.
Women tend to develop bunions and bunion foot pain more than men. Studies by the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society reports that women develop bunions 90% of the time more than men. Additionally, studies show that about 88% of women wear shoes that are too small and that 55% have developed bunions.
Are There Conservative Options For Bunion Pain Treatment?
Temporary and conservative measures are usually the first line of bunion pain treatment or foot bunion treatment and target dealing with the acute pain phase of the condition, as well as attempting to stop the progression of the condition to a more serious form.
It may be possible to avoid surgery by preventing bunion growth from worsening specially for treatment for bunions on big toe or bunions on your little toe (bunionette or tailor’s bunion). Wearing shoes that are the right size and shape is a key factor.
Relief from bunion pain by wearing larger shoes with a wider toe box or slippers will help avoid any pressure on the affected bunion pain area. For example, someone with a bunion or bunionette might choose to wear athletic shoes instead of high heels for pain relief. Although this change might be extreme, bunion pain could be the deciding factor in making these lifestyle changes.
Try on or buy new shoes in the afternoon when the foot is more tired and perhaps has some fluid buildup. Rather than going by size alone, make sure the shoe fits well, and that there is proper arch support. Additionally, there should be enough space in the toe box for the toes to wiggle around.
Cushioning bunions with protective pads or cushioned padding against the joint when wearing a shoe. The use of an orthotic, either an over-the-counter product or one specifically molded to the foot can also help.
If diagnosed early, an injection of a steroidal anti-inflammatory medication around the joint may be enough to decrease the irritation in the area and allow the joint to recuperate. If there is no pain accompanying the bunion, bunion surgery is not necessary. However, once deformity and its accompanying severe pain have occurred, it is unlikely that bunion surgery can be avoided.
When Should Someone Seek Medical Treatment For Bunions?
Generally intense severe bunion pain and the loss of toe mobility in the bunion area is the most contributing factor for patients finally seeing a foot or bunion specialist. Visually, severe deformity of the foot and the impossibility of being unable to wear shoes is an indicator. Additionally, there may be a crackling sound in the joint when it moves.
Given the above symptoms, diagnosis of a bunion is based on a physical examination, a detailed history of the patient’s symptoms and their development over time, and x rays to determine the degree of deformity.
Making the proper diagnosis for bunions requires taking into account the medical history and all possible causative factors. Other foot disorders such as gout and medical conditions must be ruled out. The patient history should include factors that increase the pain, the patient’s level of physical activity, occupation, amount of time spent on his or her feet, the type of shoe most frequently worn, other health conditions such as diabetes that can affect the body’s ability to heal, a thorough medication history, including home remedies, and any allergies to food, medications, or environmental aspects.
What Kind Of Doctor Does Bunion Removal Surgery?
Podiatrist, foot and ankle specialists and orthopedic are uniquely qualified to treat bunions among the medical professionals.
At the Podiatry: Foot and Ankle Center, we are the bunion specialists treat your bunions at the best bunion treatment, bunion shaving, or bunion surgery at an affordable cost.
Is It Time To Have Your Bunions Removed?
A painful bunion removal is necessary if nonsurgical bunion treatment methods don’t relieve your pain.
Bunion removal is a surgical procedure that corrects a deformed area of the foot near the big toe. Bunion removal is sometimes called a bunionectomy, bunion surgery, or hallux valgus correction. Hallux valgus is a Latin phrase that means, “foot deformity.”
Am I A Candidate To Have My Bunions Removed?
Usually after your consultation and individual circumstances, you the patient ultimately will have to decide if bunion surgery (bunionectomy) is right for you. Your decision factors include your own tolerance for severe bunion pain, which restricts or prohibits you from completing everyday routines or activities.
These include walking for less than a few blocks without severe foot pain, your big toe remaining swollen and painful even with rest or medication, you are unable to bend, move or straighten your big toe.
What Are The Risks For Bunion Surgery (Bunionectomy)?
All surgical procedures involve some degree of risk but you can minimize those risks by going to a bunion specialist. The most likely problems to occur in a bunionectomy are infection, pain, nerve damage to the operated foot, and the possibility that the bunion will recur. Sharing all pertinent past and present medical history with the surgical team helps to lower the chance of a complication. In addition to the risk of the surgery itself, anesthesia also has risks. It is important to share with your bunion specialist the list of all the vitamins, herbs, and supplements, over-the-counter medications, and prescription medications that you taking.
Preparing For Bunion Surgery
Discuss your bunion condition with your doctor so they have complete information about your symptoms and limitations. Your doctor will take X-rays of your foot to diagnose the condition and to determine the kind of surgery needed to correct your specific problem. X rays to determine the exact angle of displacement of the big toe and potential involvement of the second toe will be taken. The angles of the two toes in relation to each other will be noted to determine the severity of the condition.
Studies in both a standing as well as a seated or lying down position will be considered. These will guide the surgeon at the time of the surgery as well. In addition, blood tests, an EKG, and a chest x-ray will most likely be ordered to be sure that no other medical condition has gone undiagnosed that could affect the success of the surgery and the patient’s recovery.
Do Surgical Procedures That Treat Bunions Require Anesthesia?
The type of anesthesia, whether ankle block (the most common, in which the foot is numb but the patient is awake), general, or spinal, will depend on the patient’s condition and the anticipated extent of the surgery. For bunion removal surgery or bunion correction surgery done on an ambulatory basis, the patient will usually be asked to arrive one to two hours before the bunionectomy surgery and stay for about two to three hours after the procedure. The procedure itself may take about an hour.
Bunion Surgery (Bunionectomy)
More than 100 different types of bunion removal procedures exist to remove the bunion and to realign the big toe. The type of surgery you need depends on how your bunion developed and its current size.
There are several different surgical techniques, mostly named after the surgeons who developed them, such as McBride, Chevron, and Keller. The degree and angle of deformity as well as the patient’s age and physical condition play a significant role in the surgeon’s choice of technique, which will determine how much tissue is removed and whether or not bone repositioning will occur.
Once you’re completely numb, the surgeon will perform the bunion removal surgery and remove the bunion and make other repairs to your foot (bunion correction surgery).
The surgeon will make an incision over the swollen area at the first joint of the big toe. The enlarged lump will be removed.
If you don’t need your toe to be realigned your surgeon will remove your bunion from the joint without performing an alignment. This is what is called an exostectomy.
The surgeon may need to reposition the alignment of the bones of the big toe (bunion correction surgery). This may require more than one incision. The bone itself may need to be cut. If bone repositioning is required you may need an osteotomy (osteo means bone). In an osteotomy, your surgeon will cut your big toe joint and realign it to a normal position.
If the joint surfaces have been damaged, the surgeon may hold the bones together with screws, wires, or metal plates. This is called arthrodesis.
In severe cases, the entire joint may need to be removed and a joint replacement inserted. If pins were used to hold the bones in place during recovery, they will be removed a few weeks later. In some mild cases, it may be sufficient to repair the tendons and ligaments that are pulling the big toe out of alignment
Recovering From Bunion Surgery
When finished, the surgeon will close the incision with sutures and may apply steri-strips as an added reinforcement. A compression dressing will be wrapped around the surgical wound. This helps to keep the foot in alignment as well as help reduce postoperative swelling.
Your surgeon will bandage your foot after the surgery and take you to the recovery room. Your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored as you wait for the anesthesia to wear off.
Bunion removal surgery is usually an outpatient procedure. This means that you can go home a few hours after the operation and after the general anesthesia has worn off.
What Are The Expected And Normal Results Of Bunion Surgery?
The expected result from tailor’s bunion surgery will depend on the degree of deformity that has occurred prior to surgery, the patient’s medical condition and age, and the adherence to the recovery regimen prescribed. Some degree of swelling in the foot is normal for up to six months after the surgery.
Once wound healing has taken place, the bunion specialist may recommend exercises or physical therapy to improve foot strength and range of motion. It is important to be realistic about the possible results before consenting to minimally invasive foot surgery such as bunionectomy or tailor’s bunion surgery.
Bunion removal surgery or bunionectomy surgery is highly successful. Talk to your bunion specialist or bunion surgery doctors about measures you can take to ensure your foot heals correctly. Taking care of your feet by avoiding shoes with narrow toe boxes after surgery will help prevent future bunions.
What Are The Potential Complications Of Bunion Surgery?
Complications from bunion surgeries are rare but can occur. Complications of bunion shaving, severe bunion surgery or tailor’s bunionectomy include infection after the bunionectomy procedure, prolonged tenderness along the procedure site, a slow healing wound (especially in those with diabetes), and recurrence.
You are more prone to post-surgery bunion removal complications if you do not follow proper instruction to care for the bunion. Fortunately, these complications are fairly easy to manage. If you are prone to infection, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics following the procedure.
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