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Posts for: February, 2012

By Dr. Radmila Samardzija
February 15, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

What to do about a painful bunion

Let’s first begin with the definition of a “bunion”.  The term bunion is an all-encompassing laymen’s term for a bump on the side of foot near the big toe.  The medical term is Hallux Valgus or Hallux Abducto Valgus; hallux meaning the big toe, valgus being a biomechanical term for the abnormal angulation, and abducto refers to the drifting of the big toe towards the second digit.  The first metatarsal (long bones of the foot) forms a joint and joint capsule with the big toe.  This joint, called the metatarsal phalangeal joint, can become inflamed, swollen, and/or red from irritation from shoe gear. 

Many times you can thank your mother or father for this sometimes painful foot deformity.  The biomechanics of your foot as well as the shoe gear worn can contribute to a bunion deformity as well as to the amount of pain associated with this meddlesome bump.  Men and woman of all ages can be subject to hallux valgus.  Other differential diagnosis for hallux valgus include: arthritis of the joint, hallux limitus, hallux rigidus, gout, pseudogout, psoriatic arthritis, septic arthritis, and neuritis.   

So what to do?  Conservative treatment includes wearing wider shoe gear, accommodative padding, and custom made foot orthotics.    When conservative treatment fails and you are no longer able to wear or find shoes that fit, surgery is recommended.  Weight bearing X-rays are evaluated to determine the severity of the deformity to determine the appropriate procedure.  Most correctional hallux valgus surgeries are an outpatient procedure performed at either a hospital or surgery center.  Surgery can consist of soft tissue release, removal of excess bone, and/or an osteotomy “bone cut” to either the metatarsal and/or the proximal phalanx (the bone of the big toe closest to the long bone of the foot).  The bone cut is normally fixated with a screw(s) which does not have to be removed unless tender.  Bone healing varies and normally takes between 6-8 weeks.  Weight bearing status as well as post-operative protective shoe or boot varies depending on the procedure. 

If you have any questions concerning the information above please contact me at [email protected] or refer to the office website http://www.fleishmandpm.com/.