A bunion, or Hallux Valgus, is a bony, protruding bump that appears at the base of the big toe along the inside of the foot. This bump forms when bones of the foot are pushed outward.
Bunions are almost always the result of wearing ill-fitting shoes. When your shoes don’t fit properly, your entire body weight can fall unevenly on your foot, impacting the joints and tendons. In some cases, bunions are genetic.
There are several types of bunions. The most common include:
Tailor's bunion: A bunion that forms at the base of the little toe instead of the base of the big toe
Acute bunion: The growth of bony masses around the toe joints
Adolescent bunion: A bunion that develops at the base of the big toe during adolescent years
If left untreated, bunions eventually become painful enough to affect your gait (the way you walk). If you begin shifting your weight to alleviate pressure on your foot, you’re at high risk of developing ankle, knee, hip, back, and neck problems from poor alignment.
Ironically, it can be challenging to find shoes that fit right without help from a doctor when you have a bunion. As a result, many patients continue to wear ill-fitting shoes, which in turn can cause the bunion to worsen.
As with most conditions, Dr. Jacoby attempts to treat bunions through conservative methods first to ensure maximum patient comfort and recovery. Conservative treatment methods include:
Wide-instep shoes that don’t put added pressure on the bunion
Custom orthotics to relieve pressure and realign the foot
These conservative treatment methods may stop or slow the worsening that is characteristics to bunions and prevent further complications.
When these interventions don’t work, Dr. Jacoby might recommend surgery. During bunion surgery, the bones are positioned correctly and screwed into place using an FDA-approved headless screw that doesn’t require removal after surgery. This procedure is successful in 90-95% of patients, and most patients are able to walk a mile again just six weeks after surgery.
Extremity Health Center accepts the following insurances. Please contact the office for further information.
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