What are Bunions?
Also called Hallux Valgus, a bunion is a bump caused by misalignment of the bones in the forefoot. They often present as a painful deformity on the “big toe” side of the foot. This is not a cosmetic issue, rather, it is an orthopedic malalignment of the bones within the foot. When bunion deformities are left untreated for prolonged periods of time they lead to additional foot deformities, arthritis, and they can become more problematic and complicated to repair, Bunions affect females greater than -males and are-both-genetic (familial) and-environmental-from poor shoe choices.
Other Types of Bunions
Tailors bunion: Tailor’s bunions, sometimes referred to as a “bunionette”, occur when the fifth metatarsal bone by the little toe begins to deform outward causing pressure and pain on the outside of the foot.
Juvenile bunion: Teenagers may develop a bunion early in life. These deformities typically progress rapidly during the adolescent years. When possible we strive to repair these once the foot has reached skeletal maturity. Orthotics and shoe modification can assist in reduction of pain and symptoms.
How is a Bunion Treated?
Initially, in the early stages bunions can be treated conservatively with shoe modification, pads, over the counter inserts and/or custom inserts (orthotics). Over time the deformity in most instances will need to be repaired surgically. Appropriate timing is key in obtaining a successful surgical outcome. It is important to have a bunion repair prior to the onset of arthritis and severe deformity as these lead to more complicated surgeries and a worsening outcome.
Talk to Dr. Francis Clark at The Foot and Ankle Institute of Utah to discuss the options you have that will assist in your care.
Tip: Dr. Francis Clark has much expertise in treating bunion deformities. He and his associates within the Foot and Ankle Institute of Utah assisted in presenting the bunion model to the FDA for clinical research in analgesic drug studies. As such, Dr Clark, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the specialty of bunion repair having repaired several thousand of these during his medical career.