Our feet are a very important part of our lives though we can sometimes take them for granted. When we swap practical foot wear for ill fitting shoes, the joints in our ankles and toes suffer. Sometimes, through excessive neglect, our feet can lose toenails and suffer from fungal infections. Sometimes they can even form unpleasant and often very painful growths such as bunions.What Is a Bunion?
You might have heard of a bunion (hallus valgus) but have never seen or experienced the discomfort of one. A bunion is a bony growth on the metatarsal bone (the long bone directly behind the big toe). As the bunion forms on this first joint of the toe (between the metatarsal and the foot) the big toe is pushed inwards while the bunion can stick out. This disfigures the foot and, since our body weight is applied to the bunion as we walk, can cause extreme pain. Bunions can also form on the little toe (the fifth metatarsal bone) which, instead of being called a bunion, is called a bunionette.
Causes and Symptoms of Bunions
Bunions tend to be hereditary, however, wearing ill fitted shoes can also cause bunions to occur. You may not realise you have a bunion until the growth is significantly big, or until you start feeling a certain amount of discomfort when you walk. Some of the symptoms of a bunion include:
- Sore skin covering the bunion
- A swollen, bony bump on the outer edge of the foot
- Changes to the shape of the foot which can make it difficult to find properly fitted shoes
- Swelling and pain over the joint of the big toe which is intensified via the application of weight
- Red, callused and hard skin caused by the second and big toe overlapping/rubbing.
Treatments of Bunions
There are many non-surgical ways you can attempt to reduce your risk of contracting bunions such as wearing properly fitted footwear. Sometimes, however, especially if you have a history of bunions in your family, surgery is the best course of actions.
We understand that, for many people, the idea of surgery is nerve wracking and very personal. Here at Joint Replacement Surgery we pride ourselves on our patient’s comfort and confidence. As an Orthopaedic Surgeon in London, Miss Samantha Z. Tross is more than capable of performing quality surgery for all joint discomforts. Before you decide on any course of treatment, however, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 07943 947 639 and we will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.