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Foot Deformities

Important Things to Know about Bunions

It is easy to tell if you have a bunion since you can actually see the bunion on the side of the foot or the base of the big toe. It is a progressive disorder, meaning the changes in your foot are gradual and over the years, the bunion becomes worse and increasingly noticeable. It is usually apparent, since the prominence of the bunion is quite obvious. However, you still need to be evaluated by a podiatrist. Since bunions are progressive, they will not just go away on their own but continue to get worse, some more quickly than others.

Something most people don’t know is that a bunion doesn’t always cause pain. Some people never even have symptoms. If they do, they usually don’t appear until the later stages of the disorder. If you do you have pain with a bunion it is usually brought on by wearing shoes that cramp the toes. If that happens, you may have pain or soreness, which sometimes restricts movement of the toe, at the sight of the bunion. You may even have sores between your toes or calluses on your big toe. You may have a burning feeling at the bunion site after you put pressure on it or have ingrown toenails on the big toe. Some people even experience numbness, but that is usually in more serious cases.

Treatment for Bunions

If you are having problems with a big toe joint: the shape of it, the bump, or you don’t like the appearance, those are things that need to be looked at.

A podiatrist can take an x-ray and evaluate the shape of the bone. You can discuss your treatment options with your doctor. Doctors may also recommend bunion pads, which can be obtained from your doctor or purchased at drug stores, or put inserts or custom orthotic devices into the shoe to make the patient bear weight a little differently, taking the pressure off of the bunion. It is recommended that you avoid standing for long periods of time or doing any activities that cause bunion pain. In some cases, surgery may be needed. Surgery is a great option for bunions. There are a variety of surgical procedures that can be performed to help with bunion pain and recent advances have it made it possible to operate on bunions with a very high success rate. Sometimes, when bunion pain is interfering with your daily activities, surgery is the best option to get you back to walking pain free.

Foot Surgery

Please note:Traditional incision for bunion surgery was 4″-5″ long. Now with minimally invasive bunion surgery the incision is 1/8″ to 1/4″ in 2 or 3 locations.

These are good reasons to avoid surgery on your feet it at all possible. Dr. Walters can perform surgery, but only after more conservative measures have been tried. He is a firm believer in minimally invasive surgery when necessary.

The most common type of foot surgery is surgery for bunion removal. Bunion foot surgery, also called a bunionectomy, is usually performed on an out-patient basis, but nevertheless all the concerns mentioned above are the same. Keeping the swelling down is of paramount importance after bunion surgery, and this requires ice packs and keeping your feet elevated. If you don’t take care of your feet properly and keep the swelling down, then your bunion surgery recovery can last for months. No one is happy in this situation, but it is one many people have to deal with one way or another.

Other Deformities

See our article on Hammertoes