Bunions may be caused by such factors as heredity, shoe wear or systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Austin Ankle Associates has expertise in many types of bunion procedures as well as revision procedures to correct prior failed procedures.
Bunions or hallux valgus is a deformity of the great or 1st toe characterized by the lateral deviation of this toe towards the second toe through the metatarso-phalangeal joint. This is not simply caused by a bump or extra bone on the inside of the great toe. It is actually an angular deformity centered on the joint. The soft tissue or capsule of this joint on the medial or inside becomes stretched and the tissue on the lateral or outside becomes contracted. The cause of bunions is multifactorial and includes hereditary factors, shoe wear, and other systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Pain from bunions is usually related to the prominent bump on the medial side of the toe created by the deformity. Tight shoes exasperate this discomfort. Bunions can be associated with arthritis in this joint and commonly are associated with hammer toes which also can be sources of pain.
Conservative treatment is usually limited and consists of shoe wear modifications, ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and at times, orthotic insoles. Wider more accommodative shoes can provide relief of symptoms if the pain is due to the prominence on the medial side of the foot. Often the pain is multifactorial and may eventually require surgical intervention if symptoms persist despite conservative measures. The goal of surgery is to straighten the angular deformity and usually requires shifting the 1st metatarsal and balancing the soft tissues. There are many types of surgical procedures used to correct bunions depending on individual patient factors and surgeon preference. As with any surgery, sometimes optimal results are not achieved. This can be related to patient factors, but at times the type of surgery performed may have been inappropriate. Austin Ankle Associates has abundant experience in many types of bunion procedures and revision surgeries for failed prior procedures.