What is a bunion?
A bunion (hallux valgus) is a progressive foot deformity which is characterized by a laterally rotated big toe and a bony prominence on the inside and top of the foot. It usually worsens with time, ultimately ending with a large bony bump, arthritis, and a severely deformed big toe.
Since a bunion occurs at a joint where your toe bends while walking, it can cause significant discomfort. They also have the tendency to rub against footwear and cause calluses and blisters. A small fluid-filled sac (bursa) adjacent to the joint can also become inflamed, leading to additional swelling, redness, and pain.
Bunions are most common in women and are exacerbated by wearing tight fitting shoes with narrow tips or high heels. There are also inherited genetic factors that cause bunions and those patients typically exhibit symptoms in their teenage years.
How are bunions treated?
Conservative treatment of a bunion may consist of simple changes in the types of shoes which one wears. Oral anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and topical anti-inflammatory creams may also be used to decrease the pain of a bunion.
The gold standard for bunion treatment is surgical correction. There are many ways to surgically repair a bunion and Dr. Walimire will assess your individual situation to determine which procedure is best for you. Depending on the type of surgery which has been recommended, the total recovery time may be as short as 4 weeks or as long as 3-4 months. Many bunionectomies allow immediate weight-bearing activity after surgery while others require a 2 week period of non-weightbearing activity.
Bunion correction is a very technically difficult procedure because the deformity must be corrected in three different planes. Patients should seek out surgeons who frequently perform a variety of bunion procedures in their practice. Dr. Walimire utilizes a combination of six different procedures to give his patients the longest lasting and most optimal outcomes. He has personally performed well over one thousand bunionectomies in his career and is pleased to help you get rid of your pain and back in those shoes you’ve been waiting to wear again.
Surgical removal of the neuroma is by far the most effective treatment. A small incision is made on the top of the foot and the nerve is completely excised. This results in partial numbness of the adjacent toes which is usually not bothersome. The recovery time from surgery is approximately four weeks and patients are allowed to walk on the foot post-operatively. This is a very safe and minimally invasive treatment option for those who have failed conservative treatment.