A bunion forms on the base of the big toe when it leans towards the foot’s others toes instead of pointing straight ahead. Over time, a bunion may get worse and can cause pain and discomfort if left untreated. Dr. Benjamin Tehrani, DPM, AACFAS, at King’s Point Foot and Ankle Specialists in Downtown Los Angeles, and Beverly Hills, CA, is a podiatric surgeon with extensive experience in bunion removal. Schedule a personalized consultation online or call the office today.
Bunions don’t have one clear cause, which is considered a foot deformity. A bunion is made of soft tissue and bone, and is usually hereditary, stemming from a faulty mechanical structure of the foot where the big toe points towards other toes. Anyone can develop a bunion, but they appear more often in women than men and may worsen if poorly fitted shoes are worn.
What are the symptoms of a bunion?
A bunion generally forms as a swollen, bony bump at the base of the big toe, where it unites with the first metatarsal bone of the foot.
When you have a bunion, your big toe points excessively toward your other toes on the same foot. Other symptoms can include:
- Pain and swelling
- Hard, sore, and callused skin
- Changes in the shape of your foot
- Discomfort when wearing shoes or while walking
- Burning sensation
What is bunion surgery?
Bunion removal surgery is the most effective method for treating bunions. This procedure corrects the deformed area of the foot near the big toe.
Before bunion surgery, Dr. Tehrani determines the type of procedure needed to correct the specific problem. To do this, he examines X-rays and your complete history of symptoms and limitations. There are numerous bunion removal surgeries, based on the size and development of the bunion.
Bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure, so you can return home a few hours after the operation. In most cases, you only need a local anesthetic to numb the foot below the ankle.
For the first couple of weeks after bunion surgery, you’ll wear a surgical boot or cast to protect your foot. Recovery usually takes about six to eight weeks, and full recovery happens in about four to six months.
What are other treatment options for bunions?
Nonsurgical treatment options for bunions include:
- Bunion pads
- Changes in shoegear. Wearing the right kind of shoes is very important. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box and forgo those with pointed toes or high heels, which may aggravate the condition.
- Medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Naproxen. Topical anti-inflammatories such as Diclofenac gel 1% or other topical medications may be prescribed by Dr. Tehrani.
- Icing. Applying an ice pack 2-3 times per day to help limit pain and swelling temporarily.
- Injection therapy. Injection of steroid into an inflamed bursa (fluid-filled sac located around a joint) sometimes seen with bunions. This will only provide temporary relief.
- Orthotic devices. In some cases, custom orthotic devices may be provided by the foot and ankle surgeon to help support the foot and prevent worsening of bunion deformities.
While these treatments help relieve the symptoms, they don’t treat the condition, or improve the appearance of the foot.
To learn about your treatment options for a bunion, contact King’s Point Foot and Ankle Specialists today. Click online to book a consultation or call the office to speak with a team member.