A bunion is a painful bony bump that develops on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint. Bunions are often referred to
as hallux valgus.
Bunions develop slowly. Pressure on the big toe joint causes the big toe to lean toward the second toe. Over time, the normal structure of the bone changes, resulting in the bunion bump. This deformity will gradually increase and may make it painful to wear shoes or walk.
Anyone can get a bunion, but they are more common in women. Many women wear tight, narrow shoes that squeeze the toes together—which makes it more likely for a bunion to develop, worsen and cause painful symptoms.
In most cases, bunion pain is relieved by wearing wider shoes with adequate toe room and using other simple treatments to reduce pressure on the big toe. Custom shoe inserts (orthotics), padding, and wearing shoes with wide toe boxes can relieve discomfort caused by a bunion. Medication delivered by injections that reduces inflammation can also help.
Traditional bunion surgery requires cutting away a portion of the metatarsal bone and moving it back into place, but it doesn’t correct the joint instability. With severe bunions, Dr. Levine moves the entire metatarsal bone back into correct alignment and then stabilizes the affected joint with titanium plates, which creates a permanent fix.
If you believe you are having bunion pain, it's important that you get it checked out as soon as possible. Click here to book an appointment to have it assessed.