Bunions: Everything you need to know

June 8th, 2015 by LOC Team


What are bunions?

Bunions or Hallux Valgus occur when the big toe is misaligned. The classic symptoms are a bumpy side of the foot, pain and swelling over the big toe joint which is aggravated by shoes, callused and red skin by the big toe, the second toe overlapping with the big toe and changes to the shape of the foot which makes it difficult to find shoes that fit properly.

Why have I got bunions?

Contrary to popular belief, bunions are hereditary and not caused by wearing tight or high heeled shoes. It is thought that bunions occur in people with inflexible joints, but bunions can also be caused by other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

How do I get rid of them?

Treatment can be conservative using orthotics and painkillers to reduce pain. Physiotherapy can be helpful to assist with related muscle imbalances; however these treatments will not correct the deformity. Surgery can be considered to relieve pain so that normal activities can be resumed.

Will surgery eradicate my bunions forever?

85-90% of patients are pleased with the results of their surgery, but it is important to remember that this surgery is not cosmetic but aims to relieve pain and correct the deformity as much as possible. There is a risk of complication after bunion surgery and some cases may reoccur, but this only happens in less than 10% of cases. If bunions are not treated then it can lead to further problems such as arthritis in the toes.