What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a deformity of the proximal or base joint of big toe. It is basically a bony prominence from realignment and enlargement of joint at the base of big toe. It is a progressive bony deformity and most commonly affects women. The deformity can lead to many problems and may cause the foot to rub on shoes, which can cause pain, redness and inflammation of first metatarsoophalangeal joint. This bunion is also knows as tailor's bunion or bunionette.
What causes Bunions?
In most of the cases , cause of bunion is still unknown. There can be some hereditary or genetic tendency to have abnormality at this part of this joint. In some cases it is also associated with joint problems such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, regardless of the underlying causes, wearing tight or unfit shoes tends to make the disease worse. Wearing such shoes puts some extra pressure on the base of big toe and causes friction of underlying skin.
Symptoms and Problems of Bunions:
- Difficulty in walking
- Infection at base of toe
- Wideness of foot
- Arthritis of big toe
- Deformation of second toe
Treatment of Bunions
If pain and symptoms of bunion persists, consult a podiatrist as soon as possible.
The primary aim of management and treatment of patient with bunions t is to relieve pressure on the bunion and stop the progression of the deformity.
A podiatrist may recommend these treatments:
Padding and Taping: This is the first step in the treatment of bunions.Padding the bunion decreases pain and allows the patient to continue a normal and routine life. Taping helps in keeping the foot in a normal position, thus reduces stress and pain.
Medication: Anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections are often prescribed to relieve acute pain and inflammation caused by joint enlargement and deformity.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can be very helpful in providing relief of the inflammation and bunion pain. Ultrasound therapy is a very popular and effective technique for treating bunions without surgery.
Orthotics: A foot pad or Shoe insert may be helpful in stabilizing foot and ankle and may reduce symptoms and prevent worsening of the disease
Surgical Options: When early treatments or medications fail or the bunion progresses past the threshold for such options, podiatric surgery may become necessary to relieve pressure, stress and repair the toe joint. Several surgical procedures and options are available to the podiatrist. The surgery will efficiently remove the bony enlargement, restore the normal anatomy and realignment of the toe joint, and relieve pain and inflammation.