What is a bunion?
A bunion is a prominent, bony hump that forms at the base of your big toe. When this happens, the big toe usually pushed outward on the first metatarsal bone- which is the bone behind the big toe- and forms an unnatural bunion.
A bunion has so much pressure on it because your entire body weight rests on the bunion with each step of walking, simply because bunions occur at a joint. This condition can be painful and is also vulnerable to pressure and friction, which can lead to calluses.
This deformity is progressive and may develop bigger in time although symptoms may stay the same or not. The enlarged joint at the base of the big toe can cause redness, tenders, and pain and can become inflamed. In later stages, the bunion may develop into localized arthritis.
What are the causes of bunions?
The precise cause of bunions is unknown; however, there are studies saying that this condition is genetic. Bunions typically develop when there is too much pressure on your foot and you weight falls unevenly on its joints. The imbalance makes the joint in your big toe unstable, which eventually forms an unnatural prominence beynd the normal shape of your foot.
Shoes can also aggravate the condition of the bunion. Wearing ill-fitting shoes can definitely make the symptoms worse. Other less common causes of bunions include: trauma, neuromuscular disorders, and limb-length discrepancies. Your foot type may also play a part on the development of the condition.
Bunions may also be associated with certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Also, those who have an occupation that involves putting higher stress in your feet such as jobs that require you to wear pointed heels or uncomfortable shoes, are at a greater risk of developing bunions.
What are the treatment options?
There are non-surgical options but there is also a surgical one. Non-surgical options include:
- Wearing comfortable shoes that fit and have plenty of room for your toes and foot shape
- Splinting, padding, or taping can also help reduce the stress on your bunion.
- Over the counter medications can help relieve the pain. Steroid injections can also help.
- Padded shoe inserts help distribute the pressure evenly when you walk, which reduces the symptoms and pain.
- Ice application can help relive soreness and inflammation.
If the conservative route doesn’t work, then you may need surgery. The goal of the surgery is to relieve your from the pain and discomfort by returning your toe to the correct position. There are a couple of surgical procedures done and your doctor will be best suited to determine which course to take. These procedures include:
- Removing the swollen tissue from around your big toe joint
- Straightening your big toe by removing part of the bone
- Realigning the long bone between the back part of your foot and your big toe, to straighten out the abnormal angle in your big toe joint
- Joining the bones of your affected joint permanently
After a bunion surgery, you may be able to immediately walk. However, a full recovery can take weeks up to a few months. Wear proper shoes and always be aware when recovering to prevent recurrence.
If you have a bunion and it is causing you pain and interferes with your daily activities, talk to your doctor and consider bunion surgery in Singapore and be among the many that found relief through it. Explore your options now.