Bunions are a progressive deformity that typically presents as a bump on the inside of the foot near the ball of the foot. Most people with bunions have a genetic predisposition to developing them. The deformity is caused by an instability of the joints of the foot and a gradual shift in the position of the bones in the foot. This condition can be exacerbated by tight shoes and (minor) bunion surgery may be required to permanently resolve the problem.
Symptoms include pain, redness, callus buildup, turning of the big toe, or an enlarging bump on the foot. Bunions can range from feeling like an irritated bump to a throbbing or aching pain, usually near the joint of the big toe. Bunions generally progress as patients age, although it is difficult to pinpoint how quickly they may progress in a given patient.
Conservative treatment for bunions includes padding, strapping, icing, and oral or topical anti-inflammatory medications. Custom orthotic devices can help reduce a patient’s discomfort, but they may not slow the progression of the bunion.
Bunions that do not respond to conservative treatment may require a minor surgical procedure to eliminate the painful bump and straighten the big toe. These procedures can be done on an outpatient basis that takes approximately 45 minutes. Prior to surgery, our foot and ankle specialists utilize digital radiography and perform a custom set of measurements. Through extensive pre-operative planning, we devise a patient-specific plan to address the deformity and ensure that each patient’s bunion will be fixed properly and permanently. Our specialists use surgical techniques to prevent any unsightly scarring on the top of the foot. Most patients are able to walk out in a supportive shoe following the procedure. Recovery from these outpatient procedures is typically rapid.
At Kipferl Foot & Ankle, our physicians have over 35 years of experience in treating painful bunions. We utilize the latest advances in bunion correction available. Our expert surgeons select the proper procedure based on each patient’s specific foot structure. There is no single procedure that works for every bunion. For that reason, it’s important to select a surgeon who has experience with many different bunion procedures. At Kipferl Foot & Ankle, our goal is to select the best possible procedure for correcting each bunion, thereby minimizing the likelihood that the bunion will ever need to be fixed again.