Bunions are a condition we see quite regularly at the office. They are an uncomfortable condition, but treatable with some help from Dr. Blaakman.
Bunions, also known as hallux valgus deformity, are a deviation of the great toe toward the smaller toes. They are bony bumps, which form on the joint at the base of the big toe. Because of this abnormal formation, they end up crowding your other toes and causing pain. Along with regular bunions forming, smaller bunions called bunionettes can also grow on the joint of your little toes. We often diagnose bunions from clinical evaluation, and radiographic evaluation. Unfortunately, additional foot conditions can develop if bunions get worse, such as hammertoes.
CAUSES FOR BUNIONS INCLUDE:
- Combination of genetics
- Wearing shoes that are not the right fit for your feet, such as being too tight
- Improper musculo-tendon balance within the foot
- An increase of the amount of stress on the feet
- Having a medical condition, such as arthritis
- Injuries to the foot
SYMPTOMS FOR BUNIONS INCLUDE:
- An abnormal bump on your toes, located on the outside of the base of the big toe
- Pain, swelling, redness, and a sore feeling around the big toe joint
- The development of corns or calluses on the toes
- Pain with many different types of shoe gear, which may keep you from walking comfortably
PREVENTION FOR BUNIONS INCLUDES:
- Custom or prefabricated orthotics (ask Dr. Blaakman about custom made orthotic devices)
- Wear shoes that will not cause the toes to be crowded together
- Pick out shoes with a wide toe box
- Avoid wearing high heels
- Properly fitted shoes
- Exercising your feet
HOW DR. BLAAKMAN TREATS THE CONDITION:
When a patient visits our office, Dr. Blaakman will examine the feet, and will then be able to determine treatment options based on the evaluation. The success rate we have had with bunions is good. The options to treat this condition depend upon the severity of the bunion, degree of activity, and shoe gear desired by the patient. All of this will determine as to what type of procedure or treatment protocol should be followed.
However, if the condition is not treated then it can lead to continued pain, and difficulty wearing shoe gear. Also there is a possibility that the lesser toes become contracted or overlap this great toe as it continues to drift toward the lateral aspect.
We treat this condition by helping to identify proper shoe gear, injections, and anti-inflammatory medication. Bunions are often not treatable at home with over the counter conditions or medications. People have tried some straightening apparatus to help this area, and certainly if this is comfortable for the patient and they feel this is working, this is a possibility, but it will continue to remain.
However, there are times when our patients need surgical intervention. The procedure is called a bunionectomy, and is only recommended if the condition is interfering in your day-to-day activities. What happens during this procedure is removal of the swollen tissue around the big toe joint, straightening, and realignment of the toe.