Nothing is more aggravating than to put on sandals or stockings and notice a large knob sticking out from your big toe. It is unsightly, but also can be very painful. With medical assistance there are treatment options that can ease your pain and make your foot look human again.
A Case Of Names
There are many names for bunions, including Taylor’s bunion and bunionette. But, basically, it is an abnormal bump or bony protrusion that presents itself, at the base of the big toe. It can cause major embarrassment, especially in warm weather, when people wear sandals or walk barefoot on the beach. Not only are they unattractive, but also can be quite painful.
Blame It On The Genes
Unfortunately for some, heredity plays a huge role leading to their bunions. If you notice women at your family reunion with misshapen feet inside their sandals, the chances are great you will inherit it, as well. How your foot is shaped may put unnatural pressure on the big toe, which can be a family trait. Another medical condition that can lead to bunions is arthritis that can also change the shape of many other joints on your body. Some foot types are more prone to bunion creation. If you have flat feet or have had an injury to your big toe, bunions may result. Improperly fitted shoes that squeeze the feet together can also cause bunions.
Get The Best Fit
Many ladies have developed a love affair with high heels in recent years. Unfortunately, this is the number one reason for development of bunions. Another suggestion is carefully choose your running or walking footwear. Practice walking or jogging in shoes you may buy. Notice how the sides fit, not just the front of the shoe. Some women and to a lesser extent, men, are so vain they purposely buy shoes one size too small. This is a recipe for disaster that can definitely lead to bunions. When shoe shopping, make sure to bring the type of hosiery or socks you will wear with that footwear, so you can fit the shoes properly.
I Need A Specialist?
In order to get an accurate diagnosis of a bunion or bunions, you must visit a foot specialist known as a podiatrist. Make sure to research several board-certified podiatrists, with great reviews from patients. The most common symptoms to tell the doctor about include: a large lump on the outside of the big toe, feet that are continuously sore, big toe pain, or throbbing sides of the feet. The doctor will need to rule out any other potential causes of the bony protrusion, by ordering x-rays, MRIs, CT or bone scans. If left untreated, bunions will turn into a worsening condition called bursitis, where the fluid sac on the joint becomes inflamed. Another resulting condition is hammertoes, where the middle toes bend in a downward position. This may result from untreated bunions and eventually lead to loss of feeling or mobility.
Bunion treatment and options vary depending on the specific condition of the foot. For moderate bunions, doctors may suggest simply changing to properly fitted footwear, wearing splints or orthotics to realign the big toe. If the case is severe, the podiatrist will prescribe a bunionectomy surgery, as treatment. This procedure requires the doctor to remove the bony protrusion and realign the big toe joint. If you have a bunion on both feet, make sure to have one surgery at a time. Since you will need to wear a huge boot on the foot for weeks afterward, so you want to have some mobility.
Please, Don’t Rush It!
Most people are delighted with the results from their bunionectomy. Recovery times range from several weeks to months. However, right after the surgery protective boots allow persons adequate mobility, walking out of the office. Since only a local sedation is given rather than general anesthetic, it allows for a better post-operative experience. Between 4-8 weeks patients can return to regular shoes.
Following the doctor’s directives is the wisest path toward a full recovery. That means keeping the bandages dry and clean and not removing them to peek at results. Wearing the boot for the prescribed period of time and not taking it off early will also lead to a successful recovery period. Some people require future physical therapy in order to perform exercises to strengthen the muscles and retain complete range of motion of the toe(s). High heels should be avoided for several months following surgery. With due diligence you can return to full use of your feet, free of pain and embarrassment. Next spring season you will be proud to show off those new sandals with no unsightly bunions in sight.