A bunion is a bony bump on the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, the one at the bottom of your big toe.
When you have a bunion, the bones that make up the MTP joint are driven apart, causing the big toe to move towards your smaller toes. The big toe can eventually move on top of the next toe, and the constant friction from this can cause corns and calluses on the top of the toes involved.
Bunions commonly cause soreness or discomfort in the MTP joint, and you might also experience significant big toe stiffness.
Many people with bunions also have hammertoe, a deformity involving the second, third, and fourth toes. The combination of bunions and hammertoe can make it particularly difficult to walk.
Bunions most often develop in women, and they’re more likely to occur later in life than in younger years. But anyone can develop a bunion.
Bunions happen because of a genetic predisposition to a specific foot type. When you inherit a certain kind of foot structure, an unstable joint in the midfoot can eventually lead to bunions.
Some things can hasten the development of a bunion or make it worse. These include regularly wearing high heels. But the shoes you wear aren’t the root cause of bunions.
Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates provides two main kinds of bunion care, conservative and surgical.
Conservative care is an entirely nonsurgical approach. Padding, taping, custom-fitted orthotics, and other conservative care can ease bunion pain and stiffness. Conservative care can’t reduce or eliminate a bunion, but it has been shown to prevent one from growing larger.
If you have a small bunion with only mild symptoms and its appearance doesn’t bother you, conservative care would be a good fit.
Larger bunions can cause severe problems that conservative care might not help. Many people are also very unhappy with the way their feet look when they have a large bunion. In those situations, surgery is usually best.
Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates offers a cutting-edge bunion procedure called Lapiplasty, a Treace Medical Concepts Inc product. This procedure uses small incisions to correct the root cause of bunions — instability in the middle part of the foot.
Instead of just shaving the bunion off, Lapiplasty removes the bunion and reinforces the unstable joint using internal hardware. This provides an immediate correction that lasts.
Both conservative care and surgery have their benefits, so Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates can help you decide which is right for you.
If you have an uncomfortable or unsightly bunion, call Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates now or book an appointment online.