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Home :: Bunion

Bunion Foot Surgery - Bunion Treatment

A bunion is an abnormal enlargement of the joint (the first metatarsophalangeal joint, or MTPJ) at the base of the great or big toe (hallux). It is caused by inflammation and usually results from chronic irritation and pressure from poorly fitting footwear.

Overgrowth of tissue at the base of the great (big) toe. Bunions may be congenital or hereditary. A bunion often impairs athletic performance until it is corrected with medical treatment or surgery.

Causes

  • Irritation of the bony bump when the big toe is directed toward the little toe.
  • Narrow-toed, high-heeled shoes that compress toes together.
  • Arthritis.
  • Family history of foot disorders.

Signs and symptoms

  • An inward-turned great toe that may overlap the second-and sometimes the third-toe.
  • Thickened skin over the bony protrusion at the base of the great toe.
  • Fluid accumulation under the thickened skin (sometimes).
  • Foot pain and stiffness.
  • Inflammation and swelling around the bunion.

Diagnosis

Bunions are diagnosed by examination. Your doctor may also order x-rays to determine the severity of the condition and to rule out other causes.

Treatment

Home Treatment

  • Before bedtime, separate the great toe from the others with a foam-rubber pad.
  • When wearing shoes, place a thick, ring-shaped adhesive pad over the bunion.
  • Use arch supports to relieve pressure on the bunion. These are available in shoe-repair shops.

Medication

Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can ease the pain caused by a bunion. If the bunion develops as part of a more widespread arthritis, then other medication may be advised. Antibiotics may be needed if the bunion becomes infected.

Bunion Surgery

Surgery may be required for persistent or severe cases. An orthopaedic surgeon can help you decide if surgery is the best option for you.

Most bunion surgery is performed under ankle block anesthesia, in which your foot is numb, but you are awake. General or spinal anesthesia is used occasionally. The anesthesiologist will stay with you throughout the procedure to administer other medications, if necessary, and to make sure you are comfortable.

The surgery takes about one hour. Afterwards, you will be moved to the recovery room. You will be ready to go home in one or two hours.

Prevention
  • Wear wide-toed, well-fitting shoes with strong and supports. Don't wear high heels or shoes without room for toes in their normal position.
  • Don't wear socks or stockings that are too tight.
  • After treatment, prevent a recurrence by placing a 1/4-inch thickness of foam rubber between the big toe and second toe.


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