Bunions are one of the most common foot disorders that affect people.
At My FootDr we aim to see patients with healthy feet preventing the early development of bunions. Bunions are characterized by a bony lump seen at the ball of the foot around the big toe. The lump is a combination of bursa (fluid filled sack) which builds up and hardens in response to pressure.
Over time, patients with bunions will notice the bony lump enlarging and pain developing around the joint. This can make simple tasks such as walking and wearing shoes uncomfortable and painful.
As pain worsens and inflammation increases an angular deformity of the big toe can occur, in medical terms, Hallux Abducto Valgus (HAV). When HAV develops the big toe deviates towards the smaller toes. This deformity can impair balance, cause long term pain and make footwear shopping a difficult task.
Causes of bunions
The most common factor causing bunions is inheriting a foot type that is prone to bunions. Individuals who feet are subjected to excessive pronation (rolling in) tend to develop bunions because of the pressure put on the big toe joint. Ill-fitting footwear such as high heels and tight narrow shoes, put added pressure on the big toe contributing to the angular deformity of the big toe joint.
How we help with bunions
If you think you are developing bunions, the best course of action is to visit a Podiatrist to prevent further development. Unfortunately, once a bunion occurs there is no way to reduce the size of the lump without surgery. Therefore, early detection is important to avoid future pain and complications.
Like all conditions, it is important to identify what is causing the abnormality and how far the condition has developed. A podiatrist will use patient history to determine risk factors and possible causes. A biomechanical assessment will determine whether biomechanical foot abnormalities such as excessive pronation are causing the development of bunions. If a patient presents with excessive pronation, custom orthotics can be prescribed to preserve the movement and condition of the big toe joint and prevent further complications. Custom orthotics also help improve posture and stabilise the big toe joint.
Your My FootDr Podiatrist can recommend specific footwear, which reduces pain and pressure to the big toe joint and prevent further bunion development. Wide accommodating footwear with a low heel is important to compliment orthotics and reduce pain.
Surgical correction of bunions is an option, but should only be considered after other podiatry care options have been explored to prevent the onset of bunions.