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Bunion surgery is needed to treat a bunion in some cases. Most bunions can be treated without surgery. However, if nonsurgical treatments are not enough, surgery can relieve your pain, correct any foot deformity, and help you resume your normal activities. An orthopaedic surgeon is the foot doctor that can help you decide if bunion surgery is the best option for you. Whether you’ve just begun exploring treatment for bunions or have already decided with your orthopaedic surgeon to have surgery, the information shown here, will help you understand more about this valuable procedure.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is an unnatural, bony hump that forms at the base of the big toe where it attaches to the foot. Often, the big toe deviates toward the other toes. When this occurs, the base of the big toe pushes outward on the first metatarsal bone — which is the bone directly behind the big toe — forming a bunion. If this happens on the little toe and fifth metatarsal, it’s called a bunionette.
Because a bunion occurs at a joint, where the toe bends in normal walking, your entire body weight rests on the bunion at each step. Bunions can be extremely painful. They’re also vulnerable to excess pressure and friction from shoes and can lead to the development of calluses.
What Causes Bunions?
Although they may develop on the fifth (little) toe, bunions usually occur at the base of the big toe. Bunions are often caused by incorrect foot mechanics. The foot may flatten too much, forcing the toe joint to move beyond normal range. In some cases, joint damage caused by arthritis or an injury produces a bunion. And some people are born with the tendency to develop bunions. If you’re at risk for developing a bunion, wearing high- heeled or poorly fitting shoes makes the problem worse.
Positional (mild) bunions arise from the growth or new bone. STRUCTURAL (severe) bunions result when the joint at the base of the toe shifts position. Many bunions are a combination of both types.
As new bone grows, the joint enlarges. This stretches the joint’s outer covering. Force created by the stretching pushes the big toe toward the smaller ones. Eventually, the inside tendons tighten, pulling the big toe farther out of alignment.
When the angle between the bones af the first and second toes is greater than normal, the big toe slants toward the smaller ones. In severe cases, this may also cause the second and third toes to buckle.
To realign the affected joint, any tight tendons on the inside of the toe are leased (cut). New bone that makes up the bunion is shaved away.
The most common bunion surgery reduces the angle between the first and second toes. Bones in the big toe joint are realigned and the bunion is shaved away. Ligaments and tendons around the joint may be tightened to hold it properly in place
If a structural bunion is severe, a piece of bone is removed from the first metatarsal (the long bone behind the big toe joint). Once repositioned, this bone may be held in place with a pin or a screw. Any new bone that makes up a bunion is shaved away.
Dr. Matt Ahmadi is a leading Foot Doctor (Podiatrist) in Mission Viejo. Dr. Ahmadi is a Board Certified Foot Surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Dr. Ahmadi is a leading foot and ankle doctor, who has
earned the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery. He completed his post graduate training in Podiatric medicine and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery at the Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Ahmadi´s residency consisted of three intense surgical years at a level one trauma center where he performed advanced procedures in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.
Dr. Ahmadi specializes in reconstructive surgical and non-surgical care for children and adults as well as a wide variety of foot and ankle diseases and disorders. He places emphasis on educating patients about the function and dynamics of the foot and ankle in order to prevent future problems.
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If you are interested in learning more about bunion treatment without surgery, contact Orange County Foot and Ankle center of Mission Viejo today. Dr. Matt Ahmadi is a leading Orange County podiatrist and will be able to answer all your concerns and questions.