Bunions are among the most common toe deformities we see at our office – and frankly, we wish many patients came to see us about a lot sooner.
In a bunion, the largest toe slowly drifts out of alignment, toward its neighboring toes. At the same time, a prominent, bony bump develops at the base of the largest toe.
This situation can cause plenty of pain, swelling, and friction-based conditions like corns and calluses where toes rub up against the inside of your shoe or other toes. As the condition progresses, the toe itself can come increasingly stiff, and walking can become more painful or difficult.
When addressed in its earliest stages, it can be much easier to manage your bunion and slow (or stop!) its progression. Unfortunately, many people don’t come in for help until their condition has become more severe and rigid. We can still help, but coming in sooner could have saved them a lot of trouble.
It is never too early to see us regarding a potential bunion, nor is a long-time bunion a hopeless case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first steps toward positive action.
What Causes a Bunion?
Most cases of bunions are the result of a mix of hereditary and environmental factors. In other words, both your family history and what you do with your feet can play significant roles.
Many people are born with a greater likelihood that the joint at the base of their largest toe (the metatarsophalangeal, or MTP joint) can become unstable.
However, instabilities can worsen (and the progression of a bunion accelerated) by behaviors that place excess weight and force on the front of the foot. This includes wearing shoes with tight toe boxes or high heels.
When you come to see us for a bunion, we will examine all the potential factors that may be contributing to it. By addressing these factors, we can help you find relief and manage the condition properly.
Conservative Bunion Treatment and Management
Not every bunion requires surgery.
In many cases, treatment can focus primarily on relieving the symptoms of a bunion and slowing or stopping its progression. Although the bump remains, it no longer has as major an impact on your life.
When such treatment via conservative methods can be achieved, it is often preferred over bunion surgery. A plan might involve:
● Switching to footwear with better support and more accommodations in the toe area.
● Using shoe inserts or custom orthotics that offload weight from the vulnerable joint and provide support in other needed areas.
● Taping or splinting the toe to provide support.
● Engaging in simple stretches or exercises to maintain joint flexibility and strength.
● Prescribing over-the-counter medications for pain management.
However, in more severe cases or those that don’t respond well to conservative treatment, bunion surgery may then become a consideration.
There are multiple ways to address a bunion through surgery. Whichever procedure we recommend will greatly depend on the circumstances around your bunion, as well as additional factors including your age, general health, activity levels, and more.
Surgical procedures can involve, but are not limited to:
● Repairing ligaments and tendons surrounding the unstable joint.
● Removing the bump itself (exostectomy).
● Cutting and realigning the bones of the toe (osteotomy) and holding them in place with pins, screws, or plates.
● Removing arthritic joint surfaces (arthrodesis).
As with any surgery, post-operative care and rehabilitation are paramount to a successful recovery. We may also provide additional treatment such as K-Laser therapy to accelerate post-operative healing.
We will be sure to explain any instructions thoroughly and let you know what to expect before, during, and after a procedure. Never hesitate to ask us any questions.
The Best of Bunion Care in Massapequa
Dr. Justin LoBello and Dr. Corey Fox have helped hundreds of patients overcome their bunion pain using both conservative and surgical techniques. We’re here to help you, too!
Schedule an appointment by calling us at (516) 541-9000. We also have telemedicine appointments available if you wish to conduct an initial consultation from the comfort of your own home.