What is a Bunion?
Bunions have the medical name Hallux Valgus. It refers to a bony swelling at the base of the big toe. A bunion occurs when the big toe angles in towards the middle of the foot, causing the base of the big toe joint to stick out from the side of the foot. Although generally regarded as a condition that occurs in older people, they can affect children and people of all ages too.
Lynnette our podiatrist at Elite Clinic has more than 9 year’s experience, successfully treating hallux valgus in adults and children of all ages. To make an appointment to see lynnette about a bunion, Please call us on 01698 813001 or email her at [email protected]
Why do Bunions occur?
A bunion is a bony swelling at the base of the big toe. They occur when the big toe angles in towards the middle of the foot and the second toe, causing the base of the big toe joint to stick out from the side. Wearing badly fitting shoes used to be thought to be a possible cause. However, there is a tribe in Africa who never wear shoes and who still suffer from the problem!
We now know that hallux valgus are caused by poor function, usually as a result of excessive pronation (where your foot rolls inwards) and excessive motion. There may also be a genetic or hereditary tendency to have a weakness in this area of the foot and in some cases it is associated with joint problems such as arthritis.
Typically symptoms include inflammation and swelling at the base of the toe, tenderness in the affected area and if pain is severe, difficulty walking. Tight or badly fitting shoes tend to make symptoms worse and sometimes the foot may become so wide it can be difficult to find shoes that fit.
Once your Podiatrist has examined your foot she will discuss with you the various treatment options available. Short term treatments may include:
bunion corrector:, or bunion shield be prevent friction and discomfort at the inflamed joint. There are various different types of bunion corrector available depending on your budget. We also offer Low Level Laser Therapy, to help alleviate painful bunion, this treatment has been clinically proven to help reduce swelling around the joint.
Bunions can affect both the big toe and the small toe, referred to as a bunionette if on the fifth toe. Children can also develop bunions due to poor foot mechanics. (see information below)
Juvenile/ childrens Bunions
Children especially teenagers can get bunions, They occur when the joint at the base of the big toe moves out of alignment and leans inwards to the middle of the foot.
When a child is affected, it is common for your child’s foot to roll inwards – this is called overpronation – which causes excessive motion and a splaying or spreading of the bones in the foot, the metatarsals. Typically your child will be lax or loose-jointed.
Juvenile Hallux Valgus are not necessarily painful but if left untreated they can cause inflammation and swelling at the base of the toe, tenderness and difficulty walking. Tight or badly fitting shoes will make symptoms worse and sometimes the foot may become so wide it can be difficult to find shoes that fit.
Once your Orthopaedic Podiatrist has examined your child’s foot she will discuss with you the various treatment options available. The most common treatment for juvenile hallux valgus at Elite Clinic is flexible custom–made orthotic insoles to align your child’s toes and control overpronation and excessive movement. It is important for the insoles to be tailored exactly to your child’s feet so as to provide maximum support. Well-fitting shoes that do not rub against the affected area will help to minimize any discomfort. Surgery in children is not usually recommended.
Tailor's Bunion ( Bunionette )
Introduction to Tailor's Bunion
A tailor's bunion is very similar to a bunion of the big toe joint. As the name suggests this condition was named because a tailor would sit with their legs crossed allowing the outside of the foot to rub against the floor causing irritation and inflammation (swelling).
Understanding this condition
The incidence of a tailor's bunion is much higher in women than in men. There are genetic factors and biomechanical factors, however this condition is commonly thought to be due to shoe fashion. Wearing narrow-toed shoes and high heels may accelerate the formation of the tailor's bunion due to the extra pressure put on the outside of the foot.
Treatment for this condition
- Conservative treatment includes available at Elite Clinic from a simple silicone sheild to prevent pressure, anti-inflammatory oral medications, injection of medication and local anesthetic to reduce this swelling. The podiatrist may request x-rays however in most cases your podiatrist can diagnose the condition by a visual examination. The podiatrist may remove any corns or calluses that develop due to the tailor's bunion. It is common to have a corn on the outer aspect of the tailor's bunion due to friction pressure.
- Orthotics/Prescription Insoles will help to correct any underlying biomechanical problem to and prevent the condition from progressing. Footwear should be changed to broad fitting shoes with a minimum heel. The 1st or 5th toes should not be placed under undue stress in footwear. Their are tailor's bunion alignment splints you can use to correct the condition Although this product was initially designed to be used after tailor's bunion surgery, however, gently stretching the soft tissues around the small toe joint helps prevent the need for surgery.
- Surgery to correct your tailors bunion may be the best option for you but should be the last option as post operative complications and success rates do vary. The surgical term used for this correction is a tailors bunionectomy. The surgeon can remove the excessive bone or the entire 5th metatarsal head on the outside of the foot or he/she can do something more complicated as a surgical cut made in the bone for correction of the angles of the bones in your foot. The surgeon may place fixation in your foot as it heals which may include a screw, pin, or wires. The joint may need complete removal if it is destroyed.
if you would like free advice feel free to contact our podiatrist direct on her mobile:
07852 296 632
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