A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the large joint at the base of the big toe. Most bunions develop gradually due to pressure from tight-fitting shoes. Additionally, many people who have bunions also have a family history of bunions, which may be related to an inherited foot structure issue, such as flatfoot. Other possible causes include arthritis, improper foot mechanics, and a prior foot injury. Bunions do not always cause problems or require treatment; however, some are painful and cause the big toe to curve inward toward the other toes.
Should a Bunion Be Surgically Corrected?
In general, the orthopedic surgeons at Premier Bone & Joint Centers in Cheyenne, Wyoming, recommend bunion surgery only if a bunion is very painful or causing mobility issues. Bunion surgery should not be performed for cosmetic reasons only. Many patients can manage their mild bunion pain by wearing roomy, comfortable shoes and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as needed.
On the other hand, bunion surgery may be considered to address:
- Foot pain that limits daily activities, such as walking a few blocks while wearing reasonable footwear
- Chronic inflammation and swelling around the big toe
- Stiffness that makes it difficult to straighten and bend the big toe
- A foot deformity. such as excessive curvature of the big toe
The Latest Techniques in Bunion Surgery
When appropriate, the board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons at Premier Bone & Joint Centers use state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgical techniques for bunion correction. As compared to traditional open bunion surgery, minimally invasive bunion surgery involves smaller incisions, which minimize soft tissue trauma and post-operative pain and can result in a better cosmetic outcome. Afterward, many patients experience a significant reduction in foot pain and a marked improvement in big toe alignment. However, even after bunion surgery, it is important to wear comfortable, properly fitting shoes.
If you would like to learn more about surgery and other bunion treatment options, contact Premier Bone & Joint Centers to schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist in Cheyenne, WY.