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Bunions: An Overview
- Dr. Ahmadi
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A bunion, at its essence, is a bone mass that forms at the base of the bone that connects the big toe to the rest of the foot. An uncomfortable condition, a bunion can make it difficult to wear shoes, walk properly, or even keep the toes in their proper position.
A bunion typically occurs on the largest toe. A bunion that is located on one of the other toes, like the little toe, is called a bunionette. These are less common than traditional bunions, but can be just as painful.
How are bunions diagnosed?
In order to determine if what you are suffering from is a bunion, your doctor will go over your medical history, evaluate your symptoms, and do a physical examination of your toe. Because of the nature of the bunion, such as the way that they protrude out from the rest of the toe and the way that they change the shape the toe rests in, they are often not difficult to diagnose. Sometimes, a doctor may order an X-ray to be able to see how large the bunion is, as well as the extent of the damage that the bunion has caused on the foot.
What causes bunions?
A bunion can be the result of many different things. Most often, a bunion occurs when the proper shoes are not worn or when the feet are subjected to an extreme amount of pressure. The bunion may occur when the toes are constantly rubbing together or against one of the sides of the shoe. Women who often wear high heel shoes are more subject to getting bunions. Individuals who are overweight or are on their feet for long periods of time may also be more prone to developing bunions.
How are bunions treated?
Treatment for bunions usually involves a simple brace that is placed around the toe. Therapy may also be suggested to improve the range of motion in the toe where the bunion has developed. If the bunion is causing a lot of pain in the foot, injections are sometimes suggested to improve the pain.
If the bunion cannot be improved with the use of therapies and braces, surgery is sometimes needed. Individuals who have recurring bunions or who have extreme cases should talk to their doctor about the option of surgery for a bunion.