What is a bunion?
Bunions are a common foot condition, where the big toe leans outwards and the first metatarsal tilts inwards. This situation causes the bunion, which is the projection of the head of the first metatarsal. Patients often call it as the “bone” sticking out on the side of the foot.
What are the symptoms of HAV?
Some of the symptoms of bunions are:
- Bone deformity at the side of the foot
- Swelling and pain at the point
- Inflammation and erythema (redness)
- Callus formation on the side of the big toe
- Callus formation on the bottom of the foot and the surface of the second toe, since the second finger usually overrides the first.
As the deformity becomes worse, the foot becomes wider and patients often have difficulty finding shoes that are comfortable and do not cause friction and pain at the point of the bunion.
What causes bunions?
The aetiology of HAV first finger is multifactorial, which means that it is dependent on a number of factors that contribute to the creation of this deformity.
Some factors are:
- Hereditary predisposition, with women affected more often than men.
- Narrow shoes. Prolonged use of narrow or high-heeled shoes with very narrow toe box cannot cause a bunion, but it may exacerbate its condition.
- Biomechanical imbalance of the foot.
- Arthritides, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis.
- Neuromuscular diseases, e.g. multiple sclerosis.
How are bunions treated?
Conservative (non-surgical) treatment cannot reverse the progression of the disease or eliminate the bunion, but it may discontinue further development of the deformity. Conservative treatment includes soft and wide shoes that do not press on the foot and the use of silicone wedges between the first and second toe. Orthotic insoles can unload pressure from the ball of the feet and can help relieve symptoms.
Radical treatment usually includes surgery, with minimally invasive surgical methods being the modern treatment for bunions.
A podiatrist will give you advice regarding symptom relief, will remove calluses and will provide you with orthotic devices where necessary. He/she will also refer you to a specialized orthopaedic should you wish surgical treatment.