Meta Desc: A bunion is an abnormal bony growth which is normally seen growing at the base joint of the big toe. This condition is successfully treated using bunionectomy and is advised by surgeons to relieve the uncomfortable and painful symptoms associated with it.
Bunion is an unnatural and abnormal growth of bone seen mostly at the base joint of the big toe. Bunions are known mostly to be caused due to arthritis, genetic vulnerability and other disorders that affect the skeletal structure of the body.
Bunions are more commonly seen in women as compared to men.
What causes a Bunion?
The main cause of a bunion can differ and the reason can range from a form of arthritis or to a hereditary disorder that allows for abnormal spurt in the growth of the big toe’s base joint.
This condition results when the big toe starts to curve towards the other toes. This, over time, results in the base joint of the big toe to push away from the other toes, forming a bunion. If this same symptom is seen in the smaller toes then it is referred to as a ‘bunionette’.
A bunion in the big toe causes immense pain and difficulty in walking as it cannot divide the body’s weight proportionately all over the foot. Bunions are likely to get aggravated and become even more painful and disabling if they experience friction from footwear, which may also form calluses on them.
Who needs a Bunion treatment?
Ideally, a person suffering from this condition is advised to undergo physical therapy and other non-surgical treatment methods. When these fail to produce effective results, then the doctor/physician might advise bunion surgery to treat.
These are some of the factors that determine whether a person is eligible for a bunion surgery:
- Person has considerable pain in the foot which also affects daily life.
- Person has swelling and inflammation since a long time which has not been able to be treated using other treatment methods (such as medication and rest).
- If the deformed toe causes the toes to overlap each other.
- Specialized footwear advised by doctor has failed to relieve pain and discomfort.
- Failed to successfully treat painful and uncomfortable symptoms even after extended therapy using NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Furthermore, the surgery actually aims to:
- Realign the base joint of the affected big toe.
- Provide pain relief.
- Correct deformity in the toe and foot.
What are the treatment options for Bunions?
There are several choices of treatment methods available for treating bunions. Doctors initially advise non-surgical treatment methods, such as medications (NSAIDs), resting, special footwear, etc to help relieve pain in the foot.
At times, these treatments methods are unsuccessful in treating a bunion. Hence, the doctor might advise surgical treatment for the bunions in order to help provide relief from the painful and disabling symptoms.
There are a variety of surgical options available for treatment of bunions, such as:
Osteotomy – This is one of the most popular and highly-effective bunion surgeries today. This surgery requires the surgeon to make small incisions over the tow bones. This allows the surgeon to re-align the joint into its original position. After the bone is cut and fixed in its original position, the surgeon will likely use a set of surgical metal-screws and plates to keep it in line. This provided the required support for the joint as the bone heals naturally within a few weeks.
Osteotomy is most likely to be performed in combination with another procedure, known as ‘soft tissue release’. This also helps to re-align the bone into its original position.
Other bunion surgeries include:
Ligament/Tendon repair – This type of bunion surgery is mostly required when the soft tissue surrounding the big toe become comparatively tighter on one side while becoming abnormally loose on the other side. This creates an imbalance which results in the big toe to point towards the other toes. A surgery is used to shorten the loosened soft tissue on one side and releasing the tightened tissue from the inner side.
Arthrodesis – This surgery requires removal of the arthritic joint’s surface and also re-aligning them and positioning them in their normal positions with the help of surgical screws, plates, etc. These provide the much-needed support to the big toe while the bones heal naturally.
This surgical bunion treatment is mostly advised when the patient has had a previously unsuccessful bunion surgery or if the patient is suffering from severe bunions or arthritis.
Are there any risks with Bunion surgery?
As is seen in most surgical procedures, the bunion surgeries are also liable to have rare chances of certain complications from arising.
These are the possible risks that might be seen in very rare cases after a patient has undergone surgical treatment for bunions:
- Nerve damage
- Stiffness in big toe
- Recurrence of bunions
However, the surgeon will take every possible preventive measure to avoid these and other similar complications from arising after a bunion surgery.
A bunion can be quite painful along with having certain disabling conditions, which make it very difficult to walk normally for the person suffering from it. Hence, it is advisable to undergo a surgical treatment for bunions when your doctor/physician should advise so. Bunion surgeries are known to be highly successful in relieving the pain as well as restoring normalcy to the everyday life of patients suffering from it.