A bunion is a hard, bony knob on the side of your big toe. Bunions are caused by uneven weight distribution on your toe joint. Over time, your toe joint becomes unstable and your body begins to mold the joint into a hard bump on the side of your toe.
Bunions are much more common in women; in fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, over half the women in America experience bunions at some point in their lives. Women often wear shoes that are too narrow and crush the toes. High heels add to the problem by pushing the toes forward.
Bunions can be caused by:
- Tight, narrow shoes and high heels
- Genetic bone deformity and foot type
- Foot trauma or injury
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Occupational foot stress
Bunions can result in you not being able to put on your shoes. You may also have trouble walking and doing your daily activities without pain. There are some simple therapies you can try to get relief from your bunion, such as:
- Placing ice packs on your bunion for 15 minutes
- Taping your foot to support the bunion and cushion it
- Wearing shoe inserts or padding to cushion the bunion
- Changing to wide, supportive shoes or sandals
- Taking over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medication
For large, painful bunions that don’t respond to conservative therapies, it’s best to see a physician for additional treatment. The doctor can inject the area of your bunion with cortisone to reduce swelling and pain.
You may need surgery if your bunion pain gets severe and interferes with your life. The types of doctors that can help are specialized orthopedic surgeons and podiatric surgeons, and its always best for patients to choose a doctor that makes them comfortable and that they trust. Surgery is typically reserved for more severe cases, and patient's should weigh all of their options before deciding which treatment is best suited for them. A qualified surgeon may suggest one or more of these surgical procedures:
- Straightening your foot and big toe
- Removing swollen tissue around the joint in your big toe
- Stabilizing your big toe joints together
- Smoothening the large bump next to the big toe
For More Information: There are some fantastic resources online for patients to research their bunion diagnosis. For more information, check out the Patient Education link on this website or resources published by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) or The American Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Society (AOFAS).
ACFAS Patient Education: https://www.foothealthfacts.or...
AOFAS Patient Education: https://www.footcaremd.org/con...
Let us know if you have questions, and trust that Dr. Vidovic will always treat you with honesty, integrity and precision.