A bunion is a bone deformity that results when the big toe moves out of place, causing enlargement of the metatarsophalangeal joint at its base. The enlarged joint pushes the toe downward against the shoe wall, building considerable friction and pressure.
Ultimately the big toe may overlap a second or even a third toe or rotate out of alignment. Left untreated, bunions can lead to other toe deformities such as hammertoe.
Ill-fitting or tight footwear is the leading cause of bunions. Though bunions are not hereditary, the condition does tend to recur in families with faulty foot structure. Bunions also may be caused by foot injuries, flatfoot or neuromuscular conditions.
Dr. Marso approaches bunions with a two-step care plan. First, he seeks to relieve pain and pressure caused by the friction of the bunions. Then, he works to stop further growth.
Prescribed treatments may include:
- A protective felt padding to shield inflamed skin from the shoe wall.
- Removal of nearby corns and calluses.
- Fitted footwear.
- Orthotic inserts.
- Nighttime splints.
In severe cases, a surgery called a bunionectomy may be necessary to remove the bunion completely.