posted: Apr 05, 2014.
A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe-the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint-that forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place. This forces the toe to bend toward the others, causing an often painful lump of bone on the foot. Since this joint carries a lot of the body's weight while walking, bunions can cause extreme pain if left untreated. The MTP joint itself may become stiff and sore, making even the wearing of shoes difficult or impossible. A bunion-from the Latin "bunio," meaning enlargement-can also occur on the outside of the foot along the little toe, where it is called a "bunionette" or "tailor's bunion."
- Apply a commercial, non-medicated bunion pad around the bony prominence.
- Wear shoes with a wide and deep toe box.
- If your bunion becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice packs several times a day to reduce swelling.
- Avoid high-heeled shoes over two inches tall.
- See your podiatric physician if pain persists.
Treatment options vary with the type and severity of each bunion, although identifying the deformity early in its development is important in avoiding surgery. Podiatric medical attention should be sought at the first indication of pain or discomfort because, left untreated, bunions tend to get larger and more painful, making nonsurgical treatment less of an option. The primary goal of most early treatment options is to relieve pressure on the bunion and halt the progression of the joint deformity. A podiatric physician may recommend these treatments:
- Padding & Taping
- Physical Therapy
- The vast majority of people do not require bunion surgery. We have 100's of patients live productive lives with no pain other than a cosmetic disfigurement. In some circles this condition is known as the 'money joint' for those who perform bunion surgery. Never, ever have surgery performed on an asymptomatic bunion. If you consult Dr. Hardy's Toronto Foot Clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics at 416-465-8737, we can show you how. We can also show you what to do to prevent the condition from progressing further.