From appearance, bunions appear to be nothing more than a growing bump at the base of your big toe. While the bony protrusion can become problematic, the development is often a sign of a shift in the internal structure of your feet. At Elite Foot and Ankle, Patrick Levine, DPM, is a board-qualified foot and ankle surgeon who specializes in helping residents of Burbank, California, resolve painful bunions. For medical treatment of your bunions, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.
A bunion is a progressive structural problem that develops in your metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint — the large joint that joins your metatarsal to the first bone (phalanx) in your big toe. A bunion occurs when your first metatarsal migrates toward the inside of your foot, causing the bones in your toe to shift toward the outside of your foot.
As the misalignment progresses, your MTP joint becomes enlarged and your big toe may be forced over or under your second toe. As a result, many people experience pain and discomfort as the newly-enlarged joint encounters friction and becomes inflamed.
Most bunions develop as a result of an inherited faulty structure exacerbated by:
As the first two risk factors on this list illustrate, bunions are far more common in women than in men thanks to high-heeled shoes with pointy toes.
Since bunions are progressive, it’s a good idea to seek Dr. Levine’s help at the first signs of a problem. When you address your bunions in their earlier stages, Dr. Levine is often able to treat them conservatively with:
If your bunions have progressed past the point where these conservative measures can make a difference, Dr. Levine is able to solve the problem surgically.
If your bunions aren’t severe, Dr. Levine may turn to a more traditional bunion surgery, in which he removes a portion of your metatarsal and repositions the bone. While effective, this type of surgery doesn’t correct joint instability.
If your bunions are severe and joint instability is an issue, Dr. Levine realigns your metatarsal bone and stabilizes the joint using titanium plates for a more permanent solution.
In either case, Dr. Levine is often able to perform your bunion surgery on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to return home on the same day.
If you’re developing problematic bunions, call Elite Foot and Ankle to schedule a consultation or use the convenient online booking tool to set up an appointment.