A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities among the community. A bunion is the deviation of the great toe and the metatarsal from the centre line of the foot (picture below).
The popular belief is that bunions are caused by tight fitting footwear, however bunions are only made worse by tight fitting footwear. The reason behind bunion development is genetic. Certain tendons, ligaments and supportive structures are positioned differently which leads to biomechanical issues such as 'flat-feet' or excessive movement in certain joints. These biomechanical issues can lead to the development of bunions.
Common symptoms associated with bunions are diminished and/or altered range of motion, and discomfort with pressure from footwear applied to the bump or with motion of the joint, may all accompany bunion development. On top of this, the bursa surrounding the joint can become inflammed which can cause discomfort or pain.
Padding: may help off-load pressure over the bunion deformity
Custom made orthotics: is used as preventative measure to reduce the rate of bunion development and reduce the likelyhood of surgical intervention. It can also be used to increase comfort and address the causes of bunions.
Footwear: Proper fitting footwear to decrease rubbing over the bunion, If the bunion has progressed to later stages, then wider fitting footwear or footwear with lycra type material for added comfort.
NSAIDs: to help decrease any inflammation surrounding the bunion
Surgery: If the bunion deformity has passed a certain point in its development, surgical intervention may be the only treatment option to provide relief. Surgical intervention may involve an Osteotomy or Cheilectomy