Your big toe is the hardest-working toe, and every time your foot pushes off the ground, this toe supports most of your body’s weight. Because the big toe is so critical to movement, any problem with it can make walking or even standing painful. A bunion is one of the most common foot problems. In addition to causing pain, a bunion changes the shape of your foot, making it harder to find shoes that fit. A bunion is a bony bump, usually near the joint at the base of the big toe. The skin in this area can become irritated, swollen and/or infected because bunions don’t fit in most shoes. They are often associated with bursitis and other arthritic conditions. Bunions are caused by heredity and/or improperly fitting shoes. In addition, incorrect foot mechanics may cause the foot to flatten too much, forcing the toe joint to change over time.
Conservative treatment for bunions consists of wearing larger or wider shoes. At the Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Institute, LLC we have a complete line of shoes for sale at our offices. Often, these shoes can take away the bunion pain. We also recommend Orthotics which can help re-align the foot to decrease the pressure on the bunion bone. These devices can help the pain go away. We offer a Gel bunion sleeve that slips over the bunion and helps pad the bunion and takes away pain during the day. Our bunion splint is a comfortable foam splint that holds the bunion in the right position while you sleep. It is also useful to use after you have bunion surgery if conservative treatments don’t work. Our over the counter orthotics are the best pre fabricated insoles you can get and they can be helpful as well. Finally, a pain relieving gel is available that can help take away pain without any side effects to your liver or kidneys and should be tried if there is pain.
Today, through much research, Bunions can be repaired in an outpatient setting where you go for day surgery. You can be awake or asleep for the procedure. In most cases, you can walk the same day. There is usually little to no pain after surgery which is fairly new in development due to the better surgical techniques that have recently been invented.
There are over 100 different types of bunion surgeries that fall into 3 categories. Shifting soft tissues and releasing tight tendons may correct the bunion by itself in addition to shaving off the bump. In more severe cases the soft tissue procedure and cutting the metatarsal and shifting the bone may be needed. In the most severe cases bone may have to be removed or a joint may have to be fused to straighten the toe.
Today, Bunion surgery requires minimal time off your foot (in most cases you can walk out of the operating room) and you can recover in the comfort of your home. Depending on the extent of the repair, healing may take several months. Usually, 3 days to 1 week is all that is required away from work. Sometimes you may need to wear a special wedge shoe for 4-6 weeks during your recovery. The wedge shoe we have available for you allows bone healing while providing you the opportunity to walk and carry on a normal lifestyle.
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