What They Are
Bunions are an uncomfortable condition that forms at the joint base of the big toe. They are bony bumps with skin over them that is red and sore. Bunions can also cause your big toe to swell and form corns or calluses. Bunions typically form over a period of time and are not randomly appearing. The major problem with having bunions is that they can restrict the movement of your big toe, and cause either constant or intermittent pain. However, severity differs from person to person.
Causes of Bunions
Bunions have several causes. You may be born with them due to genetically inheriting the foot type as a natural defect, or simply a deformity that was present at birth. Another factor could be getting a foot injury that could cause a bunion. Wearing high heels or tight shoes that are narrow can be a risk factor that may make you more susceptible to getting bunions. In general, crowding your toes for long periods of time will create an opportunity for a bunion to occur. Another risk factor is if you have rheumatoid arthritis, which is an inflammatory condition.
Surgery and Treatments
Bunions may not be very severe for those who have them, so no treatment is needed. Pain can be eased by icing the toe joint and wearing wider shoes, and possibly medications. A splint or orthotics may also be recommended.
However, bunions cannot be removed or gotten rid of without surgery. Any other treatments for bunions only prevent the bunions from getting worse, but they can not actually reverse a bunion. If your bunions are affecting your daily health and cause consistent pain, surgery may be a good option for you. Another sign that you may be a good candidate for bunion surgery is if there is a large visible bump on your big toe joint, and you can no longer move your toe or your foot as well. If you have trouble wearing shoes because your feet cannot fit due to a bunion, you may also consider treatment.
For surgery, the enlarged piece of the bone on the side of your toe joint may be removed. Or, if the bunion is moderate, the bone may be cut and then shifted to the correct position. The ligaments in your foot will also be corrected. Surgery will help your big toe be straightened out to form the correct shape and give your big toe more movement.
If you feel like your life is hindered by bunions and you no longer can move your toes or foot correctly, and pain is part of your daily life, you may consider getting bunion surgery.