A bunion is a deformity of the big toe joint; symptoms can include pain over the joint and toe, compression of other toes and damage to the skin lying over the surface of the joint swelling. This of course is on top of the practical difficulty of finding suitable, yet attractive footwear.
What Causes a Bunion?
Believe it or not, bunions tend to run in families, but it is also believed that poorly fitting shoes can make the problem worse. In fact, it has been noted that in cultures where people do not wear shoes, bunions rarely occur.
Other causes of bunions include various types of arthritis, such as gout, psoriatic arthritis (the arthritis that is associated with psoriasis) and rheumatoid arthritis. Medical conditions such as connective tissue disorders and neuromuscular problems can also contribute to the development of bunions, mainly due to the tendency of people with these conditions to have flexible joints and loose ligaments.
What Bunion Treatments are Available?
There are various bunion treatment options that you can choose from. They can be categorised into 2 main groups: surgical and non-surgical.
Non-surgical bunion treatments include simple pain killers, as well as the application of bunions pads which relieve pressure on the bunion joint. Adaptations to your footwear with the addition of orthotics or splints can also help - you can buy them from your pharmacist or visit a podiatrist who may offer you some guidance. Consider also your footwear: avoid high heeled shoes or those that are ill-fitting. It is generally recommended that you choose shoes that are wide and low of heel and made of soft leather if possible.
A bunion surgery is only really recommended if your toe is very painful and impacts on your walking. There are various surgical options that may be considered by your surgeon and will depend on a variety of factors including the shape of your foot, the size of your bunion and whether or not you have other complicating issues such as arthritis.
Procedures can involve removing part of the bone, fusing bones together or removing the joint altogether. Depending on the type of surgery, you may have to keep weight off your foot for several weeks and take around 6 weeks off work. It can take up to 3 months to return to normal functioning when you can start wearing normal shoes again.
So the take home message is this: Just as living with bunions is not a joke, surgical bunion treatment is a serious matter.
About Ramsay Health Care
At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!
At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment or for your surgery. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Private Patient Pledge offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.
Please contact us for more information.