A bunion is the abnormal bony formation at the base of the big toe at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. This enlargement of the joint causes the big toe to point toward the second toe. A painful, bony lump forms on the at the MTP joint where the bunion forms. This joint carries much of the body’s weight, which can create extreme pain if left untreated. While the MTP joint is enlarged, it may become difficult, or even impossible, to wear shoes comfortably.
Bunions can develop for various reasons, with the most common cause being improper shoes. If a patient wears shoes that are too tight, they can significantly raise the risks of bunions. This formation can also occur due to genetics, injury, congenital defects, or a medical condition, such as foot arthritis.
Symptoms of bunions include the development of a swollen, hard bump at the base of the big toe on the outside part of the foot. Movement of the big toe is restricted and painful, and corns may form due to the overlap of the big toe with the second toe. The MTP joint may be red and swollen, and it may be painful to apply pressure to the joint, especially when walking.
The goal of bunion treatment is to alleviate pressure and stop the progression of the joint deformity. Each bunion is unique and requires specialized treatment. Depending on the type and severity of the bunion, treatment can vary from padding and taping up to surgical intervention.
Treatment methods may vary, depending on the extent of bunion development. Before option for surgery, some self-care techniques include:
- Shoes - By changing to shoes with more room, you can put less pressure on the toes and feet.
- Padding and/or Taping - With proper wrapping of the foot, you can decrease the stress on the toes and bunions, as well as help reduce pain.
- Medication - Certain pain suppressants can help alleviate discomfort.
- Inserts - Shoe inserts can help balance the pressure on the toes, reducing pain.
Bunion surgery is in an outpatient setting, usually under location anesthesia, at one of our West Medical Centers. A mobile x-ray (fluoroscan) is utilized to allow for a minimally-invasive procedure that will allow you to walk without the aid of crutches or a cane after surgery. Our surgeons have years of experience in this procedure and aim to improve the function and cosmetic appearance of the foot.
Bunions are common and are often quickly treated and healed. Find out the best method to treatment, we're here to help! To find out more about Los Angeles bunion treatment, please call our West Medical offices at (855) 690-0565.
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