What are bunions?
With over half of American women having bunions, it’s no surprise that this foot deformity is one of the most commonly treated issues at Foot and Ankle Associates of South Florida. Bunions are deposits of bony tissue that build up on the Metatarsophalangeal joint – this is the joint that connects your big toe to your foot.
Bunions develop when your toe is pushed out of normal alignment. Your big toe puts pressure on the joint, pushing it outward and excess bony tissue develops on the joint. Bunions are painful and can disrupt your gait, leading to pain in your ankles and knees.
Bursitis, inflammation of the cushioning tissue in a joint, often develops in conjunction with a bunion. The skin covering the affected joint becomes red. The bunion also develops calluses because of increased friction when you wear shoes.
What causes bunions?
Bunions are often genetically inherited. However, issues can contribute to the development of a bunion including:
- Incorrectly fitting shoes that squeeze your toes together
- Other structural defects.
The structural deformity in your big toe that leads to bunion development can also put excessive pressure on your other toes, pushing them out of alignment. This amplifies your discomfort and can lead to further mobility issues.
How are bunions treated?
Dr. Beylin starts bunion treatment with conservative options like different footwear with more wider toe boxes, orthotics, cushioning pads, and medication. He often prescribes physical therapy including at-home exercises and stretches to correct the alignment of your toes.
If your bunion is severe, Dr. Beylin suggests surgical treatment. Bunions surgery is usually a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. Most patients only require a local anesthetic during the surgery.
During a bunionectomy, Dr. Beylin makes incisions in the ligaments that hold your toe in place so that the bones can be restored to the correct alignment. A metal pin or wire is often used to hold the bones in place while you heal. If necessary, Dr. Beylin cuts away the excess bony tissue that developed on your joint.
Following surgery, you will need to rest and stay off of the treated foot. Dr. Beylin may suggest PRP injections to support and enhance your body’s healing process. Following surgery, he gives personalized advice on how to care for your foot following surgery, manage discomfort, and get back to normal activities.