Bunions are a common problem that most individuals experience as a painful swelling or a bony protuberance at the inner base of the big toe. This condition is the result of a malalignment of the first toe. These can be hereditary or secondary to wearing high-heeled or narrow toe-box shoes.
This condition is the result of a malalignment of the first toe. These can be hereditary or secondary to wearing high-heeled or narrow toe-box shoes.
Symptoms often include pain, swelling, and abnormal position of the first toe. The technical term for bunions is “hallux valgus” (HV). This refers to the first toe or hallux moving away or abducting from the middle of the foot and then twisting in such a way that the inside edge actually touches the ground and the outside edge turns upward. This term describes the deviation of the toe toward the outside part of the foot.
If left untreated, bunions can worsen over time and cause considerable difficulty in walking, discomfort, and skin problems such as corns. In some cases, a small bursa (fluid-filled sac) near the joint becomes inflamed. This condition is known as bursitis and can cause additional redness, swelling, and pain.
Less frequently, bunions occur at the base of the fifth toe. When this occurs, it is called a bunionette.
Unless the underlying causes of bunions are eliminated, they will only worsen over time. In cases of severe discomfort, a surgical procedure known as a bunionectomy may be performed. The amount of the deformity will determine the surgical technique prescribed.
In the case of small bunions, the bothersome bump may only require shaving to repair the soft tissue in the big toe joint. However, bunions that cause severe pain or discomfort usually require more correction than shaving provides.
In the more severe cases, the technique most often recommended is a procedure that involves breaking and then realigning the metatarsal bone to decrease the toe’s angle of deviation. In both procedures, the bones are correctly repositioned and then stabilized with screws, pins, plates, or wires.
We offer the best, least invasive and least aggressive options to relieve your pain and symptoms so you can get back to the life you love. Barrington Orthopedic Specialists Foot & Ankle Care Center has convenient locations in Bartlett, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village and Schaumburg.