Bunions are common deformities seen, but there are a lot of confusion and misunderstandings about bunions. Those patients that suffer from bunions have many questions. Should I have my bunion removed? Is the surgery painful? What if my bunion isn’t painful? As foot and ankle surgeons, bunions are one of the more common problems that come into our office. We hope our experience can help guide you in decision-making about your feet and any treatment.
What is a Bunion?
Bunions are described as a bump on the side of a person’s foot near their big toe. That “bump”, however, is actually the result of changes in the bony alignment of the foot. The “bump” is actually the head of a bone called the 1st metatarsal. As this bone goes out, this can push the big toe towards the 2nd toe. For some, this can cause a painful misalignment of the joint between the big toe and the 1st metatarsal. This can also lead to arthritis in the joint.
Treating a bunion can range from simply observing the bunion to possibly undergoing surgical intervention. In most cases, some treatment is necessary. Early treatments are meant to relieve pain, but they can’t reverse a bunion deformity, only surgery can do that. These treatments include shoe changes, padding, activity changes, medications, injections, icing, orthotics, and other modalities.
However, when a bunion begins to affect the activities you perform daily, then it is probably time to consider surgery. Meeting with your foot and ankle doctor, you can decide together if surgery is the best option for you. There are a number of different surgical techniques to treat bunion deformities, and advancements in techniques and surgical hardware, have led to a high success rate of bunion surgery. Techniques may involve simply removing the “bump”, to the realignment of the bone, joint, and soft tissues. The overall goal is to eliminate pain.
If you are suffering from a bunion, our surgeons can answer any questions about treatment, surgery, and recovery after surgery.