Bunions, or ‘hallux valgus,’ are a common foot condition characterized by a ‘bump’ on the side of the foot, typically just below the big toe. As this bump grows larger, it can force the big toe over the second toe, causing pain and difficulty walking.
The definitive cause of bunions has yet to be identified. While some studies have shown a connection with wearing high-heeled shoes, bunions may also be caused by inherited genetic defects in the structure of the foot, or by arthritis.
A bunion (also referred to as hallux abductovalgus) is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. The big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment—producing the bunion’s bump.
Bunions are a progressive disorder. They begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump, which becomes increasingly prominent. Symptoms usually appear at later stages, although some people never have symptoms.
Bunions can be treated conservatively including changing shoe gear, padding, custom orthotics, icing, injections but surgery is warranted when all conservative measures are attempted and bunion pain is preventing you to perform daily activities or unable to wear shoes without pain.
Xrays will need to be performed to assess the severity and extent of deformity. The surgeon will perform appropriate surgical procedure, based on xray findings, your age and activity level or any other factors.
Surgical procedures include:
1. Austin bunionectomy- The first step of this procedure is to remove the “bump” or excessive bone from the side of the first metatarsal head. The next step is to perform a “V-shaped” cut, called an osteotomy, through the metatarsal head to re position the bone. The head of the metatarsal is shifted toward the second toe, and stabilized with a screw thereby reducing the bunion deformity and straightening the big toe.
2. Lapidus bunionectomy- The Lapidus procedure is a fusion of the first TMT joint intended to eliminate joint movement and correct deformity around the first metatarsal.
3. Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction procedure uses instruments that have been specifically designed to rotate the bone back to its normal position. This naturally straightens your toe and removes the bump as well as alleviates the pain it has been causing. Using titanium plating technology5.6, the foundation that was once unstable is secured. After the procedure, most patients are able to walk within a few days.
• No casting
• Weight-bearing within days*
o Walking in a surgical boot for 6 weeks
• At 6 – 8 weeks, patients can go back to tennis shoes
• Walking 6 – 8 weeks ahead of the traditional surgery