While not necessarily a dangerous condition, bunions have a way of making life difficult, and even painful. At Scheffel Foot Center, Dr. John Scheffel finds solutions for his patients in Worcester, Massachusetts, with painful and unsightly bunions. To learn more about your options when it comes to getting rid of bunions, call or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.
The medical term for a bunion is hallux valgus, which describes a condition in which your big toe starts to turn toward your other toes. This progressive movement of your toe creates both a bony protrusion on the inside of your foot and problems with your second and third toes as your big toe gradually moves over or under them.
While not dangerous, bunions can be problematic for several reasons. To start, the bony bump that a bunion creates can become painful and swollen. In turn, your bunion can make certain shoes nearly impossible because of the discomfort it causes inside the shoe.
Rounding out the list of complications is when your bunion forces your big toe over or under your second toe, which compromises the second toe, often leading to painful calluses or corns.
Why some people develop bunions and others don’t remains a mystery, but there are several factors that put you more at risk, including:
While the exact cause of bunions is unknown, it’s clear that this progressive condition can be made worse by your choice of footwear.
The answer to this depends upon the degree of the bunion and how much it’s interfering with your quality of life. Dr. Scheffel always prefers to start out conservatively, only becoming more aggressive if your pain or discomfort persists. Conservative treatments may include:
While these treatments help with the pain a bunion can cause, they don’t correct the condition. To do that, Dr. Scheffel performs a bunionectomy.
The doctor performs your bunionectomy on an outpatient basis and, after the surgery, many patients are able to walk fairly quickly with a surgical shoe. During most typical procedures, Dr. Scheffel reduces the bony protrusion and pulls your metatarsal back into place, using pins, screws, and/or plates to keep it in position.
If you’d like to explore your options when it comes to bunions, call Scheffel Foot Center or use the online scheduler.