Bunions come in all shapes and sizes-essentially a bunion is an enlargement or “bump” at the inside of the foot in the region of the first metatarsal. In this case size does not really matter. In some instances when there is a great deal of inflammation associated with the bunion, foot pain can be exquisite. On the contrary larger bunions which have been present for many years can produce no symptoms of pain.
Causes of Bunions
Causes of bunions include:
- High-heeled or ill-fitting shoes
- Flat foot-with over-pronation
- Excessively high arch
- Injury to the foot
- Congenital foot problems-that being born with a bunion deformity
- Repetitive motion from a sport activity or work relatedTreating Bunions
Non-surgical treatments that may relieve the pain and pressure of a bunion include:
- Wearing more sensible shoes-shoes that are rounded and wider in the toe area
- Bunion splints and bunion pads- bunion splints will not permanently correct the problem but it may relieve excessive pressure Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, Aleve may help control the pain of a bunion. Cortisone injections also can be helpful
- Shoe inserts. Padded shoe inserts can help distribute pressure evenly when you move your feet, reducing your symptoms and preventing your bunion from getting worse. Over-the-counter arch supports can provide relief for some people, though others may require prescription orthotic devices.
It is highly recommended that all conservative treatments should be attempted. Surgery should only be considered only after all other treatments have been exhausted and if you have persistent pain. Bunion surgery is often a two-fold process: Correcting the “crooked toe” (called hallux valgus) and removing the enlarged bump.There are over 50 bunion corrective procedures described in the literature. It’s possible you may be able to walk on your foot immediately after a bunion procedure. However, full recovery can take up to eight weeks or longer with some bunion procedures. To prevent a recurrence, you’ll need to wear proper shoes after recovery. A bunionectomy — like other types of surgery — is not without risk.