The Basics of Bunions – Knowing, Understanding, Better Treatment

A bunion is a bony protrusion located at the base of the big toe. This condition occurs due to weakness of the structures around that joint area, making the distal portion of the first metatarsal bone deviate outwards and the big toe to point inwards, towards the other toes, forming the bunion.

Why are bunions so painful?

When we walk, the biomechanics of our feet work harmoniously to help in balancing and weight bearing. With every step, the big toe joint is exposed to extreme pressure and friction while carrying the body’s entire weight. If you have a bunion, this can be extremely painful, since the bone is no longer in its natural anatomic position. Irritation and inflammation is the common cause of bunion pain.


Bunion Causes.

The most common cause of bunions is due to the use of improper footwear. Women in particular are prone to developing bunions because of wearing tight, pointy, high heeled shoes.  Years of wearing these types of shoes can put a lot of stress to the foot and literally changing the structures of the feet leading to bunions, hammer toes and other foot deformities.


For most people, bunions can be hereditary. Due to genetically weak foot structure, a bunion can develop at a very early age. This is the reason we have bunion cases in some children and pre-teens. 

How to Prevent Bunions

Once you’ve develop a bunion there is actually nothing you can do because this is a progressive condition. Fortunately, bunions take a long time to develop; it will take years before you reach the painful stages. Wearing inappropriate or tight fitting shoes can hasten the formation, but by simply wearing comfortable or right fitting shoes can actually slow down the advancement of a bunion.


Bunion Treatment

Pain is the reason why patients seek treatment for bunions. Non-operative treatment is the initial step to control bunion pain. Custom-made orthotics, special shoes, bunion splints and paddings are used to prevent bunion pain. Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or paracetamol are given to treat active pain.

Surgery is done as a last resort when all non-operatives modalities can no longer relieve pain. Minimally invasive bunion surgery is the most accepted surgical technique for bunion treatment, as it involves minimal pain, swelling and fast recovery times. Aesthetically, the foot looks better because the surgery only requires a very small incision (about 5mm); hence, a very small or barely visible scar.

To learn more about treatment options for bunions, including no scar bunion surgery, visit any of the Family Foot and Leg Center, P.A. offices conveniently located in Naples (Goodlette Medical Park), North Naples (Royal Palm Medical Building, Medical Blvd), and East Naples (Gridley Building, Tamiami Trail East) or contact (239) 430-3668 (FOOT)

 Call (239) 430-3668 (FOOT)

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