Common Foot Ailments-Bunions

Here in Denver, we dislike anything that could slow down our active lifestyles.  So, what can we do about common causes for foot pain?  For this first part of the year, we're going to shed light on some conditions that may put a damper on your favorite activities. If foot or ankle pain are impacting your daily life, call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. House at our office in Aurora, Colorado.

Even though bunions are a common foot deformity, there are misconceptions about them. Many people may unnecessarily suffer the pain of bunions for years before seeking treatment. At Kinetic Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. House recommends early implementation of conservative care to extend the time before surgery may be necessary.

What Is a Bunion?  

A bunion (also referred to as hallux valgus) is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. But a bunion is more than that. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. The big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment—producing the bunion’s bump.

Bunions are a progressive disorder. They begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump, which becomes increasingly prominent. Symptoms usually appear at later stages, although some people never have symptoms.

Causes

Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion.

Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes will not actually cause bunions, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse. Symptoms may therefore appear sooner.

Symptoms

Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:


Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.

Diagnosis

Bunions are readily apparent—the prominence is visible at the base of the big toe or side of the foot. However, to fully evaluate the condition, Dr. House will request x-rays to determine the degree of the deformity and assess the changes that have occurred. We are able to take x-rays on-site in our clinic, located in Aurora, CO.

Because bunions are progressive, they do not go away and will usually get worse over time. But not all cases are alike—some bunions progress more rapidly than others. Once Dr. House has evaluated your bunion, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Sometimes observation of the bunion is all that is needed. To reduce the chance of damage to the joint, periodic evaluation and x-rays by your surgeon are advised.

In many other cases, however, some type of treatment is needed. Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, but they will not reverse the deformity itself. These include:

When Is Surgery Needed?

If nonsurgical treatments fail to relieve bunion pain and when the pain of a bunion interferes with daily activities, it is time to discuss surgical options with your foot and ankle surgeon. Together you and Dr. House can decide if surgery is the best option for you.

A variety of surgical procedures is available to treat bunions. The procedures are designed to remove the bump of bone, correct the changes in the bony structure of the foot and correct soft tissue changes that may also have occurred. The goal of surgery is the reduction of pain and deformity.

In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, Dr. House will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the x-ray findings, your age, your activity level and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.

 

Dr. House's office, Kinetic Foot and Ankle Clinic, is centrally located in Aurora, Colorado serving patients from Denver, Aurora, Centennial, Parker, and Castle Rock.

Author
Kinetic Foot and Ankle Clinic Our office staff works with Dr. House to curate content that is relevant, helpful, and interesting to provide you with insights, updates, and facts about foot and ankle health. Dr. Marc House is a foot and ankle surgeon in Aurora, CO serving patients from all over the Denver area.

You Might Also Enjoy...

National Flip Flops Day

In honor of National Flip Flops Day, we share recommendations for your flip flops to encourage happy feet this summer.

Serving our patients.

These are certainly stressful times and we want all of you to know that we are remaining open, with modified hours to care for your concerns. We have imaging on site at our central Denver/Aurora location. We can see urgent fractures and injuries same day

Basics for Post-Surgery Care

Questions about post-operative care are common. These are very general guidelines for care during the post-surgical period.

Preparing for Foot or Ankle Surgery

There are many important considerations when scheduled for foot or ankle surgery. Here's a helpful guideline for questions you may want to ask to be well-prepared!

Common Foot Ailments-Achilles Tendonitis

What causes Achilles tendonitis, and what options do you have for management of symptoms? Dr. House has options for conservative care and expertise for surgical repair if necessary.