25 Sep Everything You Need To Know About Bunions
Bunions are known in medical terminology as “Hallux Valgus” deformities – meaning that they cause your big toe to be pushed inwards. It is an incredibly common problem and is said to occur in almost 1 quarter of adults between 18 and 65. In those older than 65, it is even more prevalent, occurring in some 35% of the population.
Why do Bunions occur?
There are a number of theories about why bunions develop – although there isn’t any single explanation a combination of a few theories is probably close to the truth. Some theories include:
- Abnormal foot mechanics (ie putting too much pressure on a certain part of the foot during walking) has been proposed as an explanation
- Others suggest that the deformity occurs due to normal anatomy and that some individuals are born with anatomy that means they will eventually develop bunions
- Others suggest it might be caused by joint hypermobility – this is supported by the fact that Bunions are more common in those with inflammatory joint disease
What can I do about them?
There are a whole host of options for patients suffering from bunions. These range from conservative measure all the way to getting small surgical repairs done by specialist teams of doctors. Conservative measures can include:
- Having your shoes modified. The ideal shoe for a bunion is a low heeled wide shoe with a large area on the inside of the foot (where the Bunion is). This can help minimize the forces that cause the bunion in the first place – meaning it does not grow any larger.
- To modify already existing shoes one can get custom orthotics made. These realign your foot and support it in a healthier position in the shoe.
- You can try taping up or splinting the toes at night to help alignment
- Some find stretching the feet throughout the day can help maintain joint mobility
- Some suggest trying medications you buy over the counter like NSAIDS (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen). These drugs typically reduces the inflammation in the tissue meaning that pain signals are less likely to be passed to the brain – meaning that you feel less pain.
- Ice packs can also help to reduce inflammation and reduce pain in the area. As above – reducing the inflammation will reduce the pain signals being sent to the brain.
If these don’t work for you you might opt for a surgical opinion. Specialist centers across the United States see bunions each and every day and are experts in doing minimally invasive repair procedures. There are a number of different surgical option which your specialist can talk through with you. Satisfaction with the surgery is often as high as 90% at some surgeries.
If you or somebody you know is suffering from bunions – don’t let it interfere with your life. Whether its a conservative or surgical solution you are after – get in contact with a specialist center today.