Foot pain can come in many forms and one of the main types I see and treat are painful big toe deformities called, Bunions. A bunion is a medical condition where the great toe tends to lean over towards the second digit creating and imbalance to the bone structure and produces a painful great toe joint. This issue is seen with a painful bony prominence to the inside of the forefoot at the base of the great toe. This is called the First metatarsophalangeal joint and it can easily develop arthritis and dull aching pain when the bone structure becomes mal-aligned. This can be properly evaluated with certain imaging of the area such as an x-ray or ultrasound.
Bunions are treated with conservative therapies including but not limited to; icing therapy, cortisone injections, changes in shoe gear and custom arch supports. Unfortunately, the over the counter bunion splint products will no reduce or correct a bunion, contrary to certain advertisements. A bunion must be treated surgically to truly “fix” a bunion.
Surgical intervention for painful bunions is a successful surgery that can provide long term relief. There are different bunion procedures that can be discussed depending on the patient’s condition and severity of the bunion. This surgery is usually performed in an out-patient surgery setting. Typically, you can walk the same day of surgery in a protective boot with limitation. The bony deformity is reduced by a controlled cut in the bone and then shifted into alignment. This is called an “osteotomy”. The cut in the bone is then held with a small screw or plate.
Schedule an appointment today to discuss your treatment options.
Dr. Charles Caplis