Bunions

Links

American Board of Podiatric Surgery

The American Board of Podiatric Surgery (ABPS), in accordance with standards published by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), conducts primary source verification of the podiatric medical school graduation, residency training completion, and state licensure for each ABPS member.  It is the recognized board certification organization by the American Podiatric Medical Association and the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons.

American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons

The American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) is a professional society of more than 6,000 foot and ankle surgeons.  Founded in 1942, ACFAS seeks to promote the art and science of foot, ankle, and related lower extremity surgery, address the concerns of foot and ankle surgeons, and advance and improve standards of education and surgical skill.

Foot Health Facts-Healthy feet for an Active Life

The patient education website of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons.

American Podiatric Medical Association

Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is the leading resource for foot and ankle health information.  Currently, the organization represents a vast majority of the 15,000 podiatrists in the country.  In addition to the national headquarters, APMA boasts 53 state component locations throughout the United States and its territories, as well as affiliated societies

Virginia Podiatric Medical Association

The state component of the APMA.

American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine

The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine serves to advance the understanding, prevention and management of lower extremity sports and fitness injuries.  Useful articles and various athletic shoe lists are found on this site.

American Professional Wound Care Association

The American Professional Wound Care Association is a non-profit medical association welcoming all medical specialties involved in treating the various forms of non-healing wounds, including diabetic, vascular, ischemic, pressure ulcers, burns and cancer.

Northcoast Footcare

Northcoast Footcare is an online resource for reliable and up-to-date foot health information. Northcoast Footcare, Inc has a complete resource of patient information for common foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and bunions as well as step by step tratments for each condition.  We believe that images, diagrams and illustrations are the best way to help individuals understand their foot problems.  Northcoast Footcare has the greatest number of graphicson the web for help on diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle conditions.  Content and articles written by Christine Dobrowolski, DPM, MS.

American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.  This site is an excellent resource for anyone desiring more information about diabetes.

A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions form when the toe moves out of place. The enlargement and its protuberance cause friction and pressure as they rub against footwear. Over time, the movement of the big toe angles in toward the other toes, sometimes overlapping a third toe (known as Hallux Valgus). The growing enlargement or protuberance then causes more irritation or inflammation. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, which is known as Hallus Abducto Valgus. Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe.

Many people with bunions suffer from discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction of the enlargement against shoes. The skin over the toe becomes red and tender. Because this joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Over time, bursitis or arthritis may set in, the skin on the bottom of the foot may become thicker, and everyday walking may become difficult—all contributing to chronic pain.

Wearing shoes that are too tight is the leading cause of bunions. Bunions are not hereditary, but they do tend to run in families, usually because of a faulty foot structure. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, flat feet, and pronated feet can contribute to their formation. It is estimated that bunions occur in 33 percent of the population in Western countries.

Treatment for Bunions

Because they are bone deformities, bunions do not resolve by themselves. The goal for bunion treatment is twofold: first, to relieve the pressure and pain caused by irritations, and second to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement. Commonly used methods for reducing pressure and pain caused by bunions include:

  • Protective padding, often made from felt material, to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
  • Changing to carefully fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.
  • Orthotic devices—both over-the-counter and custom made—to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
  • Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly. This is often recommended for adolescents with bunions, because their bone development may still be adaptable.

Surgical Treatment

Depending on the size of the enlargement, misalignment of the toe, and pain experienced, conservative treatments may not be adequate to prevent progressive damage from bunions. In these cases, bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, may be advised to remove the bunion and realign the toe.