A bunion is a bony lump that forms on the side of your foot at the joint where your big toe meets the first metatarsal. Bunions can also form on your little toe, but this is less common. The lump develops when structural abnormalities or outside pressure pushes your toe toward the other toes, putting pressure on the joint.
Bunions can be painful. They cause friction when you wear certain shoes. This can be uncomfortable on its own, as well as cause calluses and corns to develop. As a bunion becomes bigger it can also affect your gait, which leads to foot pain and issues in your ankles and knees.
Bunions are primarily caused by your genetics. If your grandmother or mother have bunions, you probably do, too. Other outside factors can contribute to bunion growth. For example, arthritis can contribute to their development as well as make the condition more painful. Wearing poorly fitted shoes that don’t have sufficient room in the toe box can also contribute to bunion development.
If you work in a profession that requires you to spend hours on your feet or if you are overweight, the excess pressure on your feet can cause them to spread, and push your toe and joint out of alignment.
Dr. Grogan offers bunion treatments ranging from the conservative to surgical. He offers toe spacers, physical therapy, and at-home stretches to gently and gradually realign your toes. Dr. Grogan often suggests that you change your shoes and wear supportive footwear with a wide toe box. Custom orthotics are another option for bunion treatment.
If your bunions are advanced, surgery is an option to remove the excess bone growth and realign your toe with the metatarsal bones in your foot. Surgery usually is only recommended when your bunion disrupts your everyday activities.
During bunion surgery, Dr. Grogan makes an incision in your foot. If necessary, he cuts the ligaments surrounding the joint to enable realignment. Wires or screws often are used to secure the toe in place. If you have developed a lot of extra bony tissue around the joint, Dr. Grogan takes the opportunity to shave away the built up bone.
If you have a bunion, call or schedule a consultation online today.