What are they?
Bunions are bony growths that occur at the base of the big toe. These growths can disrupt the natural alignment of the toes and the position of the feet in your shoes, contributing to the problem. If you have a bunion, the first toe joint becomes extremely inflamed and painful, and a small, fluid-filled sac called a bursa can form near the bunion, worsening the pain.
Although the exact cause of bunions has yet to be pinpointed, experts agree there seems to be a genetic factor to the problem, potentially caused by an inherited poor foot structure. Bunions have also been linked to the formation of arthritis and wearing shoes that push the big toe inwards.
Non-surgical treatments for bunions can help alleviate the pain and swelling associated with the condition, but they will not make the bony growths disappear. For example, patients with bunions can wear wider, more comfortable shoes and take anti-inflammatory medications to ease the swelling. To eliminate bunions entirely, a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy can be used to remove the excess bone tissue.
When bunions require surgery, doctors can use several different types of surgery. Surgery may be suitable when:
Surgery will aim to relieve pain, realign the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, and correct any deformities that are causing the problem.
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