By Academy Foot & Ankle Specialists
October 27, 2009
Q: What is a Bunion and how is it treated? A: A bunion is a rotational deviation deformity of the big toe. It was once thought shoe gear (high heel shoes) caused the development of bunions, but when men and children also have these deformities it takes away from that theory. Heredity may influence the development of the deformity. There is no possibility of reversal of the deformity if left untreated. Common complaints are pain, appearance and inability to wear shoes or walk without pain. General principles of treatment to provide reduction of symptoms (eg. Pain) in order to allow the patient to return to normal activity and shoe gear. The management of bunions has been non-surgical and surgical. Non-surgical care is accommodative or palliative with the objective of relieving symptoms (pain). For example, wider shoes, corticosteroid injections, anti-inflammatory and custom arch supports. If unsuccessful, surgical correction may be necessary. The object of surgical correction is to relieve symptoms, restore function, correct the deformity and give the patient the ability to be pain free while walking and wearing shoes. It is performed in outpatient surgery, giving the ability to go home that day.