What is a Bunion, and How Do I Know When I Need Surgery?
A bunion is a bump that develops on the inside of the great toe joint of the foot due to misalignment of the bones, which can sometimes be accompanied with the big toe leaning into the second toe. The result of this can cause swelling, redness and pain in the area of the base of the big toe. Sometimes corns and calluses can develop, or there can be restricted motion at the joint.
Bunions affect more then 1/3 of the women in America ands are usually caused by imbalance in the muscles and tendons of the foot and ankle that results in an uneven pull at the big toe joint, causing instability and deformity. Other causes of bunions include an inherited foot type, past injuries to the foot or deformities that are present at birth (congenital). Sometimes a bunion can be associated with different types of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Initial treatments for a painful bunion can include changing your shoe gear, padding the area, anti-inflammatory medications or cortisone injections, and inserts for your shoes.
When your bunion is causing you pain that interacts with your daily activities, or you have pain that persists despite trying the conservative treatments mentioned above, it may be time to consider surgery. The goal of bunion surgery is to reduce pain and restore the great toe into correct position.