At best, a bunion can make it uncomfortable to wear those fashionable shoes you adore. At their worst, bunion deformities can cause unrelenting pain and make it nearly impossible to slide on even your most comfortable slippers. The doctors can remedy your bunion problems and get you back into the footwear you love. Call today for an appointment or use their convenient online scheduling service.
A bunion appears as a bump located on the inner aspect of your foot, just behind the big toe. Initially, your foot may just appear wider in that region. Over time, however, the bump is typically more noticeable as your big toe becomes increasingly misaligned and drifts inward toward your second toe.
As it worsens, a bunion deformity can cause significant disfigurement, make it difficult to wear shoes, and cause moderate to severe pain with walking. It can also irritate the nerves in the skin overlying the bunion, causing inflammation and discomfort even when you’re shoeless and lying down.
Another type of bunion, called a tailor’s bunion, affects the joints in the small toe. This type of bunion is much less common than those that occur near the big toe and rarely cause pain or significant problems.
Many people believe that bunions are bony overgrowths that your podiatrist can shave away. They’re actually caused by misalignment of a bone in the middle of your foot called the metatarsal bone. This misalignment occurs when the metatarsal joint becomes unstable.
The bump you see is actually caused by the end of the bone rotating and leaning out of place rather than connecting smoothly with the next joint in the toe structure.
Ill-fitting shoes with high heels and very narrow toe boxes are often blamed for bunion deformities. This practice may be linked to bunion development and can certainly increase discomfort once you develop a bunion. But many people who never wear tight, narrow shoes have bunions. They can also occur in early adolescence and may be hereditary.
Custom shoe inserts (orthotics), padding, and wearing shoes with wide toe boxes can relieve discomfort caused by a bunion. Medication delivered by injections that reduces inflammation can also help.
For severe deformities causing persistent pain, the doctor may recommend surgery as the only true way to actually correct your bunion deformity. They are very pleased with a relatively new surgical procedure known as Lapiplasty™.
Traditional bunion surgery requires cutting away a portion of the metatarsal bone and moving it back into place, but it doesn’t correct the joint instability. With Lapiplasty, the doctor moves the entire metatarsal bone back into correct alignment and then stabilizes the affected joint with titanium plates, which creates a permanent fix.