If there is one thing you should know about bunions, it’s that most of what you think you know about them is probably wrong. Don’t let misinformation prevent you from seeking the treatment you need. To help dispel popular myths, here are five true facts about bunions that you should know.
Bunions are not growths. Rather, they are the result of misalignment of the metatarsal phalangeal, a.k.a. the big toe joint. When the joint become misaligned, the big toe drifts inward toward the other toes. That causes the bone at the base of the toe to jut out, forming a bony knob on the foot. Below is an X-ray showing the joint misalignment that causes an bunion.
Many people blame high heels and other tightly fitting shoes for their bunions. Although tight shoes are likely to exacerbate the pain of a bunion that is already there, they are not likely to be the cause. Bunions can be hereditary or, in other cases, may appear after a foot injury. In either case, instability of the big toe joint and muscle imbalance are the root causes of most bunions.
If you have a bunion that is not causing you pain, it is very important to take action now before it gets worse. Over time, bunions can become larger and more painful. They can also start making it very difficult to find shoes that fit correctly. Ultimately, surgery is the only way to actually remove a bunion.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for bunions. Because of the variety of treatment options, your doctor can help you choose a method that fits your needs. Conservative treatment plans include taping and padding the bunions to release stress on the toe joint and reduce pain. Orthopedic shoes can be used for a similar effect. There are many surgical options for bunions as well. A surgeon can remove part of the bunion or simply realign the joint to restore the foot’s proper shape.
Surgery is usually a final solution to bunions. When surgery is performed according to the severity of the bunion, it should not return. The exception to this rule is in patients with unusual foot structures that allow excessive motion of the toe joints. For these patients, surgery may be required more than once.Back to PainFreeHands