Do you or someone you know suffer from painful bunions? Even though they are a common foot deformity, there are misconceptions about them as many people unnecessarily suffer with pain for years before seeking treatment. Da Vinci Foot and Ankle specializes in both conservative treatments and bunion surgical options. Bunions can be bothersome for individuals of all ages, attributing to both cosmetic concerns and pain with shoes and activities. Bunions are readily apparent, as you can see the prominence at the base of the big toe or side of the foot. However, to fully evaluate your condition, foot and ankle surgeons Dr. Allison Menke and Dr. Christopher Menke will take x-rays to determine the degree of the deformity and assess the changes that have occurred. Not all cases are alike, as some bunions progress more rapidly than others. After one of our foot doctors have evaluated your particular case, a treatment plan can be developed that is best suited to your needs.
I came to Da Vinci Foot and Ankle to address a large bunion on my left foot. I was planning a long hiking trip and needed my feet in good shape. After Dr. Allison evaluated my feet she recommended a change in orthotics. I already had a pair of custom orthotics, so I was a little skeptical, but upon trying my new custom orthotics that she had ordered me for a few weeks; I was convinced it was the best move.
Last August I completed 221 miles carrying a 45 lb. backpack on the John Muir Trail in the High Sierra’s. The only part of my body that did not hurt were my feet! Thank you so much Dr. Allison.
Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that’s needed. A periodic office evaluation and x-ray examination can determine if your bunion deformity is advancing, thereby reducing your chance of irreversible damage to the joint. In many other cases, however, some type of treatment is needed. Early treatments are aimed at easing bunion pain but they won’t reverse the deformity itself. When the pain of a bunion interferes with daily activities, it’s time to discuss surgical options with Da Vinci Foot and Ankle. Recent advances in surgical techniques have led to a very high success rate in treating bunions, with the goal of these corrections is the elimination of pain. If you are in the Lake Oconee area or West Augusta area and want to learn more about your treatment options for bunions, call our Greensboro, GA location at 706.999.9994 our Thomson, GA location at 706.597.0102 or fill out an online appointment request. Together we can decide if surgery is best for you!
What Is It?
Bunions are often described as a bump on the side of the big toe and actually reflects a change in the skeletal framework of the front part of the foot. The long bones in the foot (metatarsals) can begin to deviate inwards with the head of the bone becoming more prominent. As the big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead, this further extenuates the prominence of the "bump.”
As certain foot types can make a person more prone to developing a bunion, this is a progressive disorder and usually a result of genetics. Shoes are not typically the source of a bunion, however, tight fitting shoes can manipulate the foot and speed up the progression of the abnormal formation. Patients may experience various symptoms including burning, aching, numbness, callus and blister formation, and trouble wearing shoes.
There are various forms of treatment available, however, it is patient dependent. As the underlying problem is a skeletal structural problem, the only way to truly remove the bunion is through surgery where the bone is cut and positioned back into a neutral alignment. If surgery is not a viable option, there are a variety of conservative options to consider. Over-the-Counter and custom orthotics (shoe inserts) wont move the bone back into place but they can attempt to slow the progression while alleviating pressure off of the joint. Shoe modifications including open toed shoes and those with a wider toe box can avoid direct irritation to the prominent bone. Consider the Vionic Shoes that we carry if you are having trouble finding a good shoe or insert as this brand has the orthotic prebuilt into the shoe!