A bunion begins when a bursa (a pod of fluid between the bone and tendons) becomes irritated down the edge of the joint at base of big toe. Bunions can cause extreme pain. Bunions can result from bursitis within the toe joint which causes a fluid-filled pod which causes deformity of the big toe joint. A bunion can be painful or not painful. The severe form of a bunion is painful. Bunions can exist in any foot part though it occurs mostly in big toe joint, the place where the first metatarsal bone joins the proximal phalanx (where big toe joins the foot) of the big toe.
What causes bunions?
Bunions most commonly occur in women; the propensity to develop bunions can be passed from one generation of family to the next. Wearing high-heeled shoes or narrow-toed can result into growth of a bunion. Wearing ill fitting shoes or high heels could cause a bunion to be painful due to constant pressure being exerted on the bursa at the base of the big toe.
Bunions sometimes occur when the big toe is forced to a situation where it pushes into the second toe. The base of the big toe is pushed beyond its normal alignment which creates the bunion.
Symptoms of bunions
The symptoms of bunions include:
Bony prominence at the base of the big toe
The big to curves toward the other toes
Redness at the site of the bunion
Pain and irritation is aggravated with pressure from shoes
How are bunions diagnosed?
Your doctor can diagnose the bunion just by looking it. The x-ray of the foot will confirm an unusual angle between foot and big toe. Teenagers can experience more difficulties with bunions than adults. Most people can cope with their bunions by wearing shoes that provide the most comfort. Surgery can reduce the pain and deformity of bunions, but not in all cases.
How are bunions treated?
When a bunion starts developing, take care of the feet by wearing wide-toed shoes. Wearing comfortable shoes often resolves the problem with no treatment needed. Wearing foam pads on the area of the bunion can protect the area from shoe pressure. You can also purchase spacers which are inserted between the first two toes. You can buy these products at your local pharmacy. Some people make a hole or slit in their shoes to protect the bunion from shoe pressure. While at home, you might want to wear comfortable slippers, instead of wearing tight shoes.
If a bunion becomes worse, surgery can be done to realign the toe with the foot to eliminate the bony bump. There are more than 100 different surgical techniques available to treat bunions.
Surgery can correct the alignment of big toe with the rest of the foot, so that the toe is in the appropriate position. Surgery and the use of special orthotic devices may help to prevent overpronation of the foot. When taken care of properly, the patient can experience excellent results.
Chronic foot pain, deformity of the toe and foot, and pain could be possible complications associated with bunions. Bunions can get so painful that they can make it difficult to carry on your daily activities. If early signs of bunions can be recognized early, you may be able to prevent the deformity associated with bunions. However, if the bunion already exists, you either have to find a way to live with it, or have surgery to correct it.