Bunions are those unsightly enlargements or bumps that occur on the inside areas of your feet. A bunion deformity can cause a wide range of problems for the patient. Bunions cause pain and swelling to the inside of the foot. This pain is worst when wearing shoes or with walking.
The possible causes of a bunion deformity include hereditary tendencies for bunions to occur in members of the same family. Bunions are also caused by abnormal foot mechanics with walking. Shoe gear such as high heels has been implicated in the cause of bunions as well.
The diagnosis of a bunion is made through the physical exam and a combination of x-ray evaluation. The physical exam will reveal swelling and redness on the inside of the inside of the great toe joint. The inside of the great toe joint is enlarged as well. X-ray findings will reveal spreading of the 1st and 2nd metatarsals.
The treatment options for bunion deformities include a wide range of therapeutic approaches. An early approach might include shoe modifications, padding, physical therapy and occasional injection care for the existing symptoms. Functional orthotics or foot supportive devices can, in many cases, reduce the involved abnormal forces and slow the progression of the bunion. Surgical correction of the involved deformity is still another viable option and should be discussed thoroughly with your foot specialist. There are three levels of bunion deformities and each require specific surgical approaches.