At some point or another, you have probably seen someone with a bunion—a common condition where the big toe points in towards the little toe and there’s a bump at its base that protrudes from the side of the foot. This bump can become very large and even red or tender.
While many believe that bunions are caused by shoes that do not fit properly and are too narrow, that is not believed to be the main causes of bunions. The reason that most people develop bunions has more to do with genetics, foot shape, and foot structure as a whole. Some feet are prone to developing bunions, particularly those with low arches, flat feet and loose joints and tendons. If the top of the fist bone (also known as the metatarsal head) is too round, then joint becomes unstable and more likely to begin forming bunions when squeezed into shoes with a narrowing toe. Additionally, heels can increase the development of bunions, as they force the foot and toes towards the front of the shoe. This may be a contributing factor to why women are ten times more likely to develop bunions than men.
What should you do if you develop a Bunion?
If you begin to develop a bunion, it is important that you do not delay in seeking medical attention. It may be natural to be unsure if you’re developing a bunion or hope that the bunion will go away. However, bunions develop at a critical meeting point of a variety of bones, tendons and ligaments in the foot. They can seriously impair normal foot function, opening up the risk of other conditions of the foot including ingrown toenails, corns, hammertoes, and calluses.
If left untreated, bunions can make life very painful and uncomfortable. First, bunions can make it more and more difficult to fit into your shoes. Physical activity and even walking can become unbearable. The longer bunions go left untreated, the worse the condition will get, particularly if you continue to put pressure on the foot and try to go about your daily life.
Bunion Treatment Options
While the pain caused by bunions can typically be treated through conservative, non-surgical treatment options, there may be an underlying issue caused by the way the foot is designed that may make you more susceptible to continuing to develop bunions. Non-surgical options typically can help you keep the bunion from getting worse, but the only way to get rid of the bunion is through bunion surgery (also known as a bunionectomy), which will provide you a long-term, permanent solution. Conservative, non-surgical treatment options for bunion treatment include some of the following steps:
• Relieving of pressure on the foot by wearing shoes that are wide and have a flexible sole to support the foot and your weight, with enough room in the area around the toes to comfortably fit the bunion. These may include sandals, shoes made from soft leather and athletic shoes.
• Protect the bunion by using moleskin or a gel pad to soften any impact to the bunion. These are available at most drugstores.
• When you experience pain or irritation of the bun, alternate between ice packs and warm foot soaks. You can also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
In addition the steps above, you may seek out medical help and some other non-surgical treatment options they may include wearing orthotics to help keep the toes straight and even cortisone injections to help with the pain and inflammation.
While the above conservative, non-surgical treatment options may help to prevent a bunion from getting worse, bunion surgery has several benefits, including:While the above conservative, non-surgical treatment options may help to prevent a bunion from getting worse, bunion surgery has several benefits, including:
• One-time procedure. Bunion surgery is a one-time only procedure that provides for permanent removal of the problem. Unlike conservative treatment, which can go on for months and without any resolve, bunion surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and patients typically fully recover from the procedure within a month or so following the surgery. Surgery removes the excess bone and tissue that has developed, which is why surgery is the only way to permanently remove the problem, while conservative treatment options only help manage the symptoms.
• Properly correct any deformities. Bunion surgery will help to properly correct any deformities of the foot related to the bunion. In particular, the big toe typically turns inwards towards the other toes. Bunion surgery will help to realign the bones inside the toes so they are in their proper position.
• Pain relief. While conservative treatments will help reduce pain, it is only a temporary pain reliever. As long as the bunion is there and continues to go untreated, the pain will only get worse as the bunion continues to get worse. Bunion surgery will help remove the source of the pain, providing you much more pain relief in the long-term. Although there is typically some pain and discomfort following surgery, 85 to 95 percent of patients who undergo bunion surgery report total pain relief from the procedure.
Bunion Surgery in Los Angeles
Whether you or someone you know just noticed the first signs of developing a bunion or you have been battling and managing the pain and discomfort for an extended period of time, contact the bunion surgery experts at Bunion Surgery Los Angeles today at (310) 247-9255 or online. The experienced doctors at Bunion Surgery Los Angeles are committed to providing patients the best care for bunion removal and can help you and your loved ones do the same! Contact us today!