Depending on the size of the enlargement, misalignment of the toe, and pain experienced, conservative treatments may not be adequate to prevent progressive damage from bunions. In these cases, bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, may be advised to remove the bunion and realign the toe.
Bunions: Hallux Valgus Deformity
A bunion—also called Hallux Valgus—is a bump that appears inside the foot, around the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint (near the big toe). A bunion is the result of the big toe shifting out of position over time, shifting closer and closer to the second toe. It is generally noticed as a bump that does not fit well in shoes or causes pain in the joint.
Changes in bone positioning are most often due to abnormal foot function. Bunions can also begin very early in children because the problem is often hereditary.
The bunion deformity often gets worse over time and may become more severe with poorly fitting shoes. If left untreated, bunions can cause severe pain and even hinder walking abilities.
Treatment for Bunions
If left untreated, bunions can become so painful that you might end up walking differently just to relieve the pressure. Treating the symptoms of bunions include both conservative and surgical approaches depending on each patients needs and expectations. The most common conservative approaches to alleviating bunions include:
1. Appropriate Shoe Gear: This include shoes that have a deep and wide toe box to accommodate for the bunion deformity as well as a soft sole to provide cushioning support.
2. Orthotics Reduces and relieves pressure from the affected areas as well as accommodating and supporting your arch and realigning your foot. Most bunion deformities occur because of mal-alignment of joints that are closer to your ankle. Orthotics aid in realigning these joints and can slow down the progression of your bunion deformity.
3. Protective padding: Often made from felt material or silicone sleeves to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation, irritation and other skin problems. We offer a silicone gel bunion shield from Dr. Jills. Please see Our Products for more information.
These conservative approaches alike are designed to limit the progression of the bunion, relieve pain and slow down the progression of the deformity.
If conservative therapies are exhausted then surgical intervention may be warranted. Fixing the structural deformity requires surgery by a foot and ankle specialist. Here at Kalmar Family Podiatry, both Dr. Matthew Kalmar and Dr. Garrett Kalmar are qualified to perform your bunion corrective surgery.
At your next appointment you can ask your favorite doctor at Kalmar Family Podiatry for more information. If you are new to the practice, please call us at 631-549-0955 or Contact Us to schedule your initial evaluation.