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What Are Bunions?

Bunions and Treatment

by Dec 18, 2019

What are bunions?

Bunions are a painful swelling of the big toe. They result from pressure bearing and shifting your body weight is distributed unevenly on the foot’s joints and tendons. Pressure causes a swelling and swelling of the joint, resembling a large knob. Injury, heredity and other factors may contribute to the occurrence of bunions. Arthritis can accompany bunions.

The obvious shape and resulting pain can be quite apparent, however bunions demand further examination and treatment by a competent podiatrist.

Treatment of bunions may include orthopedic shoes, custom orthics, medication, surgery and other treatment.


Medication: prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers and other medication to relieve swelling and inflammation. Ice packs may help a few people, while many find that applying heat may offer some immediate relief from pain and discomfort.

Shoes and Orthotics: Wearing appropriate footwear may have significant results if caught early. Consult your podiatrist before treating your bunions with bunion pads, splints, or other shoe inserts to do the most good and avoid additional injury to your foot. Especially prescribed shoes can also remove pressure from the affected joints and help the foot to heal.

Surgery is often recommended for bunions, when pain and difficulty walking increase. The bunionectomy procedure done under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. The surgeon cuts the ligaments at the joint and realigns the joint behind the toe. In severe cases, the bone is cut in a technique called an osteotomy. The bones are aligned and held in position with the aid of screws and wire. Excess bone is shaved and removed. Risks associated with this procedure include recurrence of the bunion, over-correction, inadequate correction, limited range of motion of the large toes and pain. Recovery can last several weeks and limits a person’s mobility. For this reason we recommend patients plan their surgeries, when recovery will have the least impact on their lifestyle. For example, if you like to stay out of the rain, then winter and spring is a perfect time for you to recover from your surgery, so you are healed up and active again in time for summer. Though your procedure’s timing is a personal one, don’t delay receiving treatment for you condition. See quality care by a competent podiatrist.

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Dr. Kim Gauntt
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