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Bunions are a very common problem. Generally they occur when the forefoot spreads and the big toe then deviates towards the other toes.

The prominent bone at the side of the big toe rubs against the shoe and the skin becomes reddened. Often a sac of fluid called a bursa may develop in the tissue overlying the prominent bone. This swelling, consisting of inflamed soft tissues and underlying prominent bone is what we call a ‘bunion’. If left untreated, they can be very painful.

  • Development of a firm bump on the outside edge of the foot at the base of the big toe
  • Redness, swelling or pain on the outside edge of the foot at the base of the big toe

Bunions tend to run in families. They are much more common in women.

Shoes with a narrow toe box and high heels do not account for the broadening but certainly contribute to the problem.

With age, the ligaments of the foot weaken in some people quicker than others, and the foot naturally broadens.

Bunions are diagnosed through a physical exam by your doctor. A weight bearing X-ray may be requested to better understand the severity

There are essentially 2 modes of treatment.

Sensible shoes- wearing shoes with a broad toe and flat heels can be very helpful. If your bunion becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice packs several times a day to reduce swelling.
Surgical correction- there are several surgical procedures that are recommended, depending on the severity of the deformity.
Corrective procedures usually involve not only resecting the prominent bone but also realigning the big toe and narrowing the forefoot. Depending on the particular procedure used, screws or pins may be required in the foot. In most cases a bandage and a special post operative sandal is required for 6 weeks after surgery.

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Ankle & Foot Treatments