Bunion Surgery Specialist in Dallas & Frisco
Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery
Bunion Formation and Treatments
When people think of bunions, they often imagine a large bump on the side of an older person’s foot. But what are they? Where do they come from? At first, you might think of bunions as a natural part of the aging process. However, these bumps do not occur for everyone, and have a few notable causes. Sometimes, these bumps even cause pain or limit your foot’s movement.
An estimated 3 million people in the United States report suffering from bunions each year, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. While you can’t always feel anything from a bunion, that doesn’t mean your condition is not worsening.
At SPORT, our Dallas orthopedic surgeons treat a wide range of foot conditions, such as sprained toes, and perform a variety of surgeries, including ankle replacements, heel spur surgery, and bunion surgery. We’re committed to getting you back on your feet, both literally and figuratively. Reach out to our team of professionals to schedule your appointment. Together, we’ll form a customized plan to treat your bunions, eliminate your pain, and improve your quality of life. Call today at 469-200-2832 to get your life back on track.
What are Bunions?
You probably know what bunions look like already, but what exactly are they? These bumps on the side of your feet are actually bony in nature. They develop inside the foot at the joint of your big toe, and develop slowly over time. Generally, pressure on the joint of your big toe from wearing tight or narrow shoes causes the big toe to lean toward the smaller toes. Over time, your bone’s normal structure actually changes.
As time passes, this deformity worsens, and even causes pain or difficulty walking in some patients. In general, women get bunions more often than men. This is due to their tendency to wear shoes that are narrower or more tight-fitting. During a physical exam, our SPORT orthopedic surgeons will usually order an x-ray. This allows us to use your medical history and symptoms to determine for certain that you have a bunion.
What Causes a Bunion?
The main cause of bunions are poorly fitting shoes. Narrow or pointed-toe shoes force the big toe inward, and cause bunions over time. Specifically, high heels contribute to the formation of bunions.
Bunions can also be heredity. As with many other conditions, some people are more likely to develop bunions simply because it is easier for their feet to develop them. This is due in part to the shape and structure of their feet.
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis also contribute to the development of bunions. Neuromuscular conditions also contribute.
Deformities seen at birth.
Injuries or stresses of the foot.
What are Symptoms and Signs of a Bunion?
The most obvious sign of bunions is the bump on the side of your big toe. Over time, patients may experience other symptoms, such as:
- A noticeable bump on the side of the big toe, or even the little toe.
- Swelling, redness, or soreness at the big toe joint.
- Calluses or corns between the big toe and the second toe where they rub together.
- Pain, either ongoing or intermittent.
- Limited or hindered movement of the big toe.
Is it Possible to Prevent Bunions?
At SPORT, we treat all sorts of foot-related injuries and conditions. Because of the extensive knowledge of our orthopedic team, we’ve put together a list of ways you can slow the formation of bunions, or relieve yourself of bunion pain:
- Wear comfortable footwear. This is almost certainly the most important way to prevent bunion formation. If your bunions are already beginning to form, wearing proper shoes can help slow the progression of them. We recommend shoes with a little “wiggle room”, a wide toe area, plenty of arch support, and short heels. Shoes with laces or that tighten around the top of the foot are better than slip-on shoes, as they prevent the foot from sliding forward and cramping the toes together.
- Make sure the shoes you buy are comfortable when you buy them. In other words, don’t buy shoes you need to “break in.” While shopping for shoes, try them on and walk around in them for a few minutes if possible. Well-fitting shoes allow your feet to move within the shoe, and they do not cramp your toes.
- Wear high heels occasionally, not every day. Many high-heeled shoes have pointed toes and poor weight distribution. This leads to toe cramping and bunion formation. For extra height without compromising your foot health, we recommend wedges, platforms, or blocky heels.
- Go shoe shopping in the evening. Everyone’s feet swell throughout the day, even if we don’t notice it. Because your feet are at their largest in the evening, you want to make sure that any shoes you buy will accommodate this size.
- Try shoe inserts. Over-the-counter or prescription shoe inserts are a great way to ensure proper foot alignment and weight distribution. If your bunions have already begun to form, we also recommend splints to hold your big toe at the proper angle, while still allowing you to wear shoes.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Every day, the steps you take put pressure on your feet. If you are overweight, you put more pressure on your feet than they are intended to handle. Healthy weight ranges vary from person to person, so speak with your doctor before deciding to diet or change your lifestyle.
- Take good care of your feet. If your feet feel sore or swollen, we recommend a gentle massage and a soak in warm water. Propping them up after a long day also helps.
Read our related blog on how to prevent bunions for a more in-depth explanation of how to avoid these pesky foot problems.
When to See a Doctor for Bunions?
In milder cases, bunions do not require medical treatment. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, we recommend seeing one of our qualified foot care providers for treatment.
- Ongoing or intermittent foot pain, specifically around the bunion area
- A very pronounced bump at your big toe joint
- Decreased foot or big toe movement
- Difficulty finding a comfortable pair of shoes due to the bunion
Will Bunions Go Away Without Treatment?
No. Many bunions start very small, and you may not even realize you have them. Over time, and without treatment, bunions only get worse. Specialized treatment for bunions intends to slow their progression and alleviate the discomfort they cause. In some more serious cases, we recommend bunion surgery, or a bunionectomy.
When Is Bunion Surgery Needed?
One of the most important moments after your bunion diagnosis is the recommendation of whether or not you need bunion surgery. In many cases, patients simply make small lifestyle adjustments to accommodate their bunions. In other cases, the best option is surgery. A bunionectomy is a simple outpatient procedure to correct the position of the affected toe or toes. It is minimally invasive in most cases, and your surgeon will simply shave the bone and cut part of your ligaments. In severe cases, the surgeon cuts the bone in order to realign it. The recovery process in severe cases sometimes requires plates or screws. Below, we list three signs that it may be time to consider bunion surgery.
You tried every other option to treat your bunions, but nothing works. If you see no improvement, or worsening, of the bunions after non-surgical treatment, talk to your orthopedic surgeon about a bunionectomy.
Severe bunions can cause the big toe to overlap the second toe. This opens the door for more conditions, including bone spurs, and greater pain.
If your pain feels like it’s coming from deeper within your foot, past the bunion, you may have a larger problem. Bunions sometimes cause joint pain, especially when coupled with arthritis. The cartilage located between your joints might start to degrade. Surgery can help.
Bunion Treatment in Dallas
Your feet are extremely important to your everyday life. They allow you to walk, run, drive, stand, and so much more. Because of this, foot pain and movement problems should be treated right away to preserve your quality of life. We offer both surgical options and physical therapy. Our providers have one main goal: restoring your quality of life. If you fear you may be suffering from bunions, call our Dallas orthopedic specialists at SPORT at 469-200-2832 to schedule an appointment or discuss pricing options.