Bunions are a pain in the foot
Do you have a bump on the inside of your foot near your big toe that hurts when you wear shoes? Does your big toe drift toward your other toes? If so, you may have a bunion.
What is a Bunion?
Bunions, also called Hallux valgus, are more than just a bump on the side of your foot. It is a complex deformity in which the anatomy in the midfoot has changed. Bunions develop over time as it takes a while to change the alignment of the bones. People may also develop a hammertoe deformity of the other toes.
Bunions are more common in women. Risk factors for developing a bunion are genetics, having flatfeet, wearing high heeled shoes, and wearing tight shoes that crowd the toes. People may feel pain or discomfort when wearing certain shoes or when walking. They may get swelling or redness around the bump. They may feel a burning or numbness sensation due to compression of a nerve. Standing X-rays are taken to determine the severity of the bunion.
There are conservative and surgical treatment options. Conservative treatment options include wearing wide toe box shoes, stretching shoes, using a toe spacer in between the big toe and second toe, using a bunion pad to cushion the bump, taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen, ice or custom orthotics. This does not correct or fix the problem, but instead decreases the pain.
If conservative options don’t work and you continue experiencing pain, then surgery may be needed. Surgical options include correcting the bunion, usually by doing a procedure called a lapiplasty. Dr. Kneidel performs the procedure. Lapiplasty is a 3D bunion correction in which it corrects the bunion deformity in all 3 dimensions. 2 plates with screws are placed to hold the bone in the proper alignment. After a lapiplasty is performed, patients are able to walk on their foot right away in a boot for about 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, patients transition into a regular shoe and a carbon fiber plate (a stiff plate) as swelling allows.