Our feet go through quite a bit. With more than a million steps taken each year, questionable shoe choices, sports, recreational activities and the usual wear and tear, it is not surprising that our team of foot and ankle specialists see a wide variety of pain and injury related issues.
Our foot doctors use the latest techniques to treat foot-related problems, including bunions, a problem primarily common among women. Learn more about bunions, what causes them and how they can be treated from our foot expert, Dr. C. Luke Rust.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a common foot deformity, made up of bone and soft tissue, which happens near the base of the big toe joint. If you notice a tender or sore bump on the outside of the base of your big toe, it is most likely a bunion. Typically, the big toe may begin to angle inward, forcing other toes out of alignment, as the bunion progresses in size or severity. This progression may make it difficult to wear enclosed shoes or to walk without pain.
What Causes Bunions?
Wearing a proper shoe size is incredibly important when it comes to avoiding many foot-related issues, including bunions. The bunion, a sore and swollen bump forms when wearing painful or ill-fitting shoes.
“Although men can get bunions, too, it is a common problem for women. Usually this happens from the pressure shoes place on the big toe joint. If you’re noticing bunion symptoms, shoes that are too tight or narrow may be the culprit,” says Dr. Rust. “Aside from shoe choices, heredity also plays a role.”
How are Bunions Treated?
In many cases, bunions can be treated without surgery. When bunions are left untreated or become severe, they may cause other problems, like difficulty walking, arthritis or chronic pain.
First step: find an appropriately fitting shoe, preferably one with a wide instep. Protective cushions or pads can relieve some of the pressure and help realign the foot properly.
Rebound offers many surgical options for bunions. During surgery, one of our foot experts will realign the joint and correct the deformity. This may involve removing damaged areas of the joint, removing the bunion from the joint or repairing tendons and ligaments around the toe. The type of surgery needed will depend on how severe the bunion case is and whether or not you’ve developed arthritis.
How Do I Prevent Bunions?
“The most important step you can take to prevent bunions is to wear shoes that fit and provide comfort and support,” says Dr. Rust. “Too often, we see patients make poor choices in footwear. While you may not see effects immediately, over time, your feet will see the consequences. Bunions are just one problem caused by shoes.”
Never force your feet into shoes that are too narrow, tight or too high. The shoe should always conform to your foot- not the other way around. To avoid selecting a poor shoe for your foot size and shape, have a professional measure your foot and fit you for a proper shoe.
Our team offers the most advanced foot and ankle care in the Portland metropolitan area. We are dedicated to using the latest techniques in foot surgery to improve your recovery. To see what other procedures and treatments our foot and ankle specialists provide, click here. If you are needing to see one of our specialists regarding bunion correction and surgery, please contact us at 1-800-REBOUND or request an appointment online.