A bunion (Hallux Abducto Valgus) is sometimes described as a bump on the side of the big toe. However, the visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework in the front part of the foot. Instead of pointing straight ahead, the big toe leans towards the second toe, throwing the bones out of alignment and producing the “bump” of the bunion. Bunions are a progressive disorder and gradually change the angle of the bones in your foot over the years. Symptoms usually occur in the later stages. The skin over the base of your big toe may become red and tender, and make wearing shoes painful. The bigger the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Pressure from your big toe can force your second toe out of alignment, sometimes overlapping your third toe. Severe bunions can make it difficult to walk and you may develop arthritis.
To minimize the chance of developing bunions, never force your feet into shoes that don’t fit. Choose a shoe that conforms to the shape of your foot. Opt for shoes with wider insteps, broad toes, and soft soles. Shoes that are short, tight, or sharply pointed should be avoided.
Some bunions can be treated without surgery. If you have a bunion, wear shoes that are roomy enough so that they won’t put pressure on it. You can choose to have your shoes stretched out professionally or try cushioning the painful area with protective pads. Orthotics have been shown to help prevent progression of bunions. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. Applying an ice pack several times a day can also help reduce inflammation and pain.
If your bunion progresses to a point where you have difficulty walking or experience pain even with accommodative shoes, surgery may be necessary.
If non-surgical treatments have failed to relieve your bunion pain, or when the pain is interfering with your daily activities, contact the Dallas bunion surgery specialists at North Texas Foot & Ankle to discuss surgical options.
There are a several ways to perform bunion surgery. The best procedure for one person is not necessarily the best for another. Some procedures allow you to walk much sooner, reducing the need for crutches. Depending on your foot type, the procedure can have a greater risk for return of the bunion deformity. Other procedures may require you to be on crutches for a few weeks – but could offer a better result in the long-term. Learn more about the different types of bunion surgery.
The most important criteria to ensure good outcome for your bunion surgery is to choose the right surgeon. The Podiatric Surgeons at North Texas Foot & Ankle have received in-depth education on foot and ankle conditions and significant training in biomechanics, allowing a unique view of how foot surgeries can affect the lower extremity. North Texas Foot & Ankle surgeons Dr. Ronica Holcombe and Dr. Mitch Williams are native Texans who are board certified and have completed residencies in reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgery, as well as orthopedic trauma fellowships in Europe. Schedule an appointment online to discuss your bunion treatment and surgery options or contact us for more information at 214-574-9255.
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