Bunions are a painful foot condition that can make it difficult to walk and wear shoes. The foot care experts at Beacon Orthopaedics in Cincinnati can provide effective treatment to eliminate symptoms from bunions and get our patients back on their feet again.
What is a Bunion?
Bunions, also called Hallux valgus, are protrusions that occur at the joint at the base of the big toe. These protrusions develop over a long period of time, as pressure on the big toe pushes it in towards the second toe. With time, this pressure will cause the structure of the bone to change thus producing the bunion.
When the bones that connect at the joint of the big toe become out of line, the joint gets larger and begins to protrude from the inside of the forefoot. This deformity often becomes inflamed and can continue to grow, becoming painful and making it difficult to walk and wear shoes.1
Symptoms of Bunions
Symptoms of bunions may include:
- Pain or difficulty when bending the big toe
- Trouble wearing regular shoes
- Thickened skin (corns or calluses), hardened skin on the bottom of the foot
- Hammertoes (tight, painful tendons or joints in the toes)
- Numbness in the big toe
- Redness and inflammation
What Causes Bunions?
There are a number of potential causes for bunions, including:
- Inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis
- Neuromuscular conditions, like Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Wearing shoes that fit poorly
Treatment for Bunions
Non-Surgical Bunion Treatment
At Beacon Orthopaedics, we always proceed with the least invasive treatment possible to alleviate a patient’s symptoms. When patients have bunions, non-surgical treatment may include:
- Wearing different shoes
- Protective padding inside the shoes
- Toe spacers
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Surgery for Bunions
In some cases, surgery is necessary for bunions. During bunion surgery, the bone, ligaments, tendons, and nerves of the big toe are realigned into their correct position. Bunion surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, but often requires a long recovery.3
Frequently Asked Questions About Bunions
How can I ensure my shoes fit properly to prevent bunions?
To prevent bunions or alleviate bunion pain, avoid shoes with narrow or pointed fronts that may constrict the toes and high heels. Opt instead for shoes with wide insteps, soft soles, and plenty of support. Also, don’t buy shoes solely according to the size number on the shoe–try the shoes on to ensure they fit your feet properly.
When should I see a doctor for bunions?
If you suffer from ongoing foot or big toe pain, a visible bump on your big toe joint, decreased movement of your big toe or foot, or trouble finding shoes that properly fit your bunion, it’s time to consult with a foot expert.
Contact Beacon Orthopaedics
If you suffer from pain caused by a bunion, you should seek treatment from an orthopedic surgeon who has extensive experience in treating foot ailments. The doctors at Beacon Orthopaedics can help. Please contact us to schedule a consultation at our practice in Cincinnati.
1 Mayo Clinic. Bunions. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bunions/symptoms-causes/syc-20354799#:~:text=A%20bunion%20is%20a%20bony,big%20toe%20to%20stick%20out. Accessed May 11, 2022.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Bunions (Hallux Valgus). Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14386-bunions-hallux-valgus. Accessed May 11, 2022.
3 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Bunions. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/bunions/. Accessed May 11, 2022.
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