Bunions

Definitions:

Bunions, also referred to as Hallux Abducto Valgus), is a common foot deformity.  It is a condition where a bump or  prominence develops on the side of the big toe.  Bunions are more common than bunionettes.   The causes and symptoms, however, are very similar.  The condition is caused by inherited faulty foot structure. The big toe leans toward the next two, which throws the bones out of alignment and leads to the development of the recognizable prominent bump.

Signs and Symptoms:

In addition to the bump or prominence of the bunion, symptoms include pain ore soreness. This pain is especially felt with constant rubbing, such as the pressure from wearing a shoe.  This explains why women have this condition more than men, since many women’s shoes have narrow or restricted toe boxes.  This rubbing irritates the soft tissu underneath the skin which produces inflammation.  As a result, the bunion is usually accompanied by inflammation and redness.  Bunions are usually progressive, don’t go away, and will get worse unless treated.

Diagnosis:

With the obvious bump or prominence, a bunion  is easily diagnosed by a foot and ankle doctor.  X-rays may be taken to help the doctor determine the cause and extent of the problem.

Treatment:

Dr. Westermeyer has many treatment options available and will choose the method that is best suited to the condition and the patient’s lifestyle.  To help relieve the symptoms, including recovery from bunion surgery, one or more of the following suggestions and or treatments may be used:

  • Choosing shoes with a wider toe box.
  • Placing padding over the bunionette to relieve pain
  • Oral medications, such as ibuprofen, to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Applying ice to the area.
  • Custom othotic devices for the foot to relieve pressure on the affected area.
  • Injection therapy. Injections of corticosteroid may help to reduce the inflamed tissue around the joint.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, please come in and visit north county foot doctor, Dr. Westermeyer,  to determine the severity of the condition and to learn about the treatment options available to you.