Dr. Robert E. Neville
and Associates, PA

The Woodlands Office
281-364-9041
Houston Office
713-655-1945
Conroe Office
936-760-3736
Magnolia Office
281-681-3338
Bunion

What is a Bunion? Bunions are often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. But a bunion is more than that. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. With a bunion, the big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead.

What Causes a Bunion? Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It’s not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion. Wearing tight shoes that crowd the toes won’t actually cause bunions, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse, and you experience systems sooner.

Symptoms most often occur when wearing shoes that crowd the toes or shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. Also, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions. Some symptoms that occur at the site of the bunion may include

  • Pain or soreness
  • Inflammation and redness
  • A burning sensation
  • Numbness
  • Calluses on the big toe
  • Sores between toes
  • Ingrown toenail
  • Restricted motion of the toe.
Treatment
Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that's needed. A periodic office evaluation and x-ray examination can determine if your bunion deformity is advancing, thereby reducing your chance of irreversible damage to the joint. In many other cases, however, some type of treatment Orthotic device is needed. Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, but they won't reverse the deformity itself.

When is Surgery Needed?
When the pain of a bunion interferes with daily activities, it's time to discuss surgical options with your foot and ankle surgeon. Together you can decide if surgery is best for you. Recent advances in surgical techniques have led to a very high success rate in treating bunions. A variety of surgical procedures are performed to treat bunions. The procedures are designed to remove the "bump" of bone, correct the changes in the bony structure of the foot, as well as correct soft tissue changes that may also have occurred. The goal of these corrections is the elimination of pain. In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, the podiatric surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the x-ray findings, your age, your activity level, and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.

 

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