Bunions are enlargements of bone on the inside of the first toe joint. Contrary to what many people think, bunions are not caused by shoes. They are actually caused by our old friend, overpronation. They are a progressive deformity. You don’t just wake up one morning and there it is. How fast it develops depends on the amount of excess foot motion a person is born with. The area will often become painful and red.
Controlling the excess pronation can often take pressure off the first toe joint and help to relieve the pain, but it will not change the size of the enlargement. An orthotic can stop or slow down the progression of the deformity, but only surgery can remove the bone. Bunion surgery can be a major undertaking when done correctly, however coupling surgery with an orthotic to correct the underlying pronation forces which led to the deformity can lead to excellent results.
Have questions about bunion surgery? Many people do and the best thing to do is make an informed decision about treatment, options and outlook. Often the pain of bunions can be adequately controlled or eliminated entirely with orthotics, footwear and physical therapy.
At The Foot and Ankle Clinic we provide non-surgical care of bunions with the goal of eliminating symptoms, and halting or decreasing the progression of the deformity. In severe cases we take a multidisciplinary approach and often engage in the surgical evaluation and referral to those we consider to be the best in their field when it comes to this type of surgery.