A bunion appears to be a bony "bump" on the base of the big toe. Inside the foot, what's happening is the bone of the big toe is leaning toward the second toe instead of pointing straight. Over time, this leaning of bone inside the big toe puts other bones out alignment and creates the "bump."
Science doesn't know exactly what causes a bunion, but it appears to be related to the genetic foot structure that you inherit from your parents. Certain types of foot structures are more prone to develop bunions than others. A bunion is a progressive disorder, which means it progressively gets worse over time. It doesn't fix itself.
However, a bunion can worsen faster if the wrong types of footwear are worn. An example is a shoe with a narrow, pointed toe box that squeezes the toes into an unnatural position (i.e. high heels). According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, 88 percent of women in the U.S. wear shoes that are too small and 55 percent have bunions. Also, women get bunions nine times more often than men.
"Hallux Abducto Valix" is when a "bump" appears on the side of the big toe. This bump reflects changes inside the framework of the foot. The big toe leans toward the second toe, instead of pointing straight ahead.
"Hallux Rigidus" is a bunion that causes pain and stiffness in the big toe joint. Over time it gets increasingly harder to bend the toe. This is a form of degenerative arthritis.
Bunions are believed to be caused by a faulty foot structure that is inherited. A bunion can begin to develop in early adulthood and get worse with age. Bunions may sometimes develop with arthritis.
Wearing the wrong kind of shoes, such a high heels with pointed tips and other footwear that is too tight can also help develop a bunion. These shoes can gradually help push the foot bones out of alignment.
The ankle is a modified hinge joint made up of three bones (tibia, fibula, talus) that are connected by ligaments, muscles and tendons. The foot itself is made up of 26 bones. The joints between these bones allow the foot to be a rigid lever and a shock absorber.
The gait cycle is what happens to the foot and ankle when someone walks. This cycle is made up of two phases, the swing phase and the stance phase. While in the swing phase, the foot does not come into contact with the ground, but rather swings forward or backward. During the stance phase, there are three stages: The heel strike, mid-stance, and heel lift.
During the heel strike, the foot begins pronation (a rolling motion of the foot inwards). Pronation allows the foot to act like a shock absorber. During midstance, the entire foot contacts the ground and the entire weight of the body is on the foot. When body weight shifts forward, the foot returns to a neutral position to prepare for the heel lift, which happens at the end of the stance phase.
During heel lift, the foot supinates (acts as a rigid lever). The plantar fascia, a strong tissue along the bottom of the foot, works with bones and muscles to form this rigid lever.
Many times bunions can be managed, but not cured, with non-surgical treatments including: wearing the right footwear (good padding/arches and the correct size), placing bunion shields over the area of the bunion, avoiding activity that causes bunion pain, taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, applying ice packs and injections of corticosteroids (by a doctor) to reduce the inflammation.
However, if a bunion gets progressively worse then surgery is likely to be the only option. Traditional bunion surgery leaves scars on the outside of the foot and scar tissue inside the foot, which results in more pain and swelling. There may also be a loss of range of motion for the big toe, which requires physical therapy.
Fortunately, Dr. K's Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery uses a much smaller incision than traditional bunion surgery. This means no scarring on the outside of the foot and very little, if any, scar tissue inside the foot. Dr. K's patients normally experience far less swelling and pain than people who have traditional bunion surgery.
Custom orthotics are custom-made devices that are designed to support your feet. Orthotics are manufactured to match the contours of your feet and the way you walk. Orthotics are created for you after a foot and ankle doctor examines of your foot. Orthotics may be used to treat bunions, depending on the severity of the bunion.
Prescription orthotics are divided into functional orthotics and accommodative orthotics. Functional orthotics are used to control pain caused by abnormal motion and/or to treat injuries like shin splints or tendinitis. Functional orthotics are often made from a semi-rigid material.
Accommodative orthotics are normally softer to provide the feet additional cushion and support. This type of orthotics is also used for bunions, diabetic foot ulcers and painful calluses on the bottom of the foot.
Every patient is different, but usually Dr. K's Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery patients are back on their feet in feet in 2-4 weeks, while traditional bunion surgery can keep you off your feet for up to 3 months. Once you are back on your feet, it really depends how you feel as far as engaging in sports, but you should be able to do normal daily activities within 2-4 weeks with Dr. K's Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery.
Bunion shields can help cushion the irritated area of a bunion and help keep a bunion from brushing against the inside of the shoe. A gel-type bunion shield usually provides the most relief, but a silicon-based bunion shield is the most durable and can withstand multiple uses. A bunion shield is placed over the bunion at the base of your big toe. It is also important to wear comfortable shoes because you do not want to add more pain and pressure to your bunion in cramped shoes.
However, if the pain and swelling from your bunion continues, then you need to seek medical care from an experienced foot doctor.
The best shoes to prevent a bunion are shoes that do not have high-heels, small boxes or pointy tips, and are not too tight. Ballet dancing or similar activities that include wearing constrictive shoes can help develop and irritate bunions. Some ill-fitting tennis shoes and other athletic shoes can also make your bunions worse.
You want shoes that provide good arch support, include padding, can stretch and "breathe." When trying on shoes, the big toe should not touch the end of your shoe. Make sure there is a thumb's width of room between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. The shoe should also be wide enough to provide you room and comfort.
Pain - Pain for up to two months (varies from one person to another)
Scarring - The traditional method leaves behind a 4-5cmm / 1-2 inches scar which can be quite unattractive and at times painful.
Scar Tissue - This is different than scars on the skin. Scar tissue is the number one cause of prolong pain and limited range of motion on the big toe joint. This is due to dissection when performing bunion surgery.
Decreased Range of Motion - (of the big toe joint, 1st metatarsophalangeal joint) - Post-surgery, because of required dissection in this area when doing a traditional bunion surgery.
The scar tissue requires patients to go to physical therapy to get the range of motion back (kind of like rehab after a total knee replacement). take for patients to go back to regular often than men. with arthritis. between these
Swelling - One of the biggest problems with foot surgery. The foot is the last stop in the body so the swelling has no place else to go but stay in the foot.
The more swelling you have the more pain and the longer it take for patients to go back to regular shoes, go back to work, and so on...
After the Traditional Bunion Surgery
Minimal Incision - 5mm incision on the side of the big toe.
Mobility - Almost all patients are walking without crutches, some of our patients have gone back to work as little as one week. See testimonials
Zero to No Scar Tissue - The dissection is so minimal that in almost all cases had no scar tissue build up.
No Compromise on Range of Motion - (of the big toe) - Most patients do not lose any range of motion after this surgery.
Zero to No Swelling - This procedure is so minimal that the swelling is not noticeable. Minimal swelling means minimal pain and that leads to patients going back to regular shoes as fast as 2 to 4 weeks (compared to the traditional method of 3 months)
Tremendous reduction in post-operative pain - Because of the nature and the minimal approach of this surgery the pain is at its minimal.
Tested & Proven - This new method has been researched and there is a documented study out of Italy that followed 140 patients for a total of 6 years; the results were amazing.
After Dr. K's Bunion Surgery