Bunions & Hammertoes - Joan Williams, MD | UCLAMDCHAT Webinars



How To Avoid Bunion Surgery

Bunions are bony protrusions at the base of the big toe. They form when that toe presses against the next toe, forcing the angle of the bones in the big toe to change. This often happens over time as a result of pressure from a shoe that's too tight, particularly a pointytoed or high-heeled shoe. Unless bunions are severe, they can usually be managed without surgery.

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Perhaps because of footwear fashions, bunions are nine times more common in women than in men. One study estimated that 23% of women ages 18 to 65 and 36% of women over 65 have bunions. The protrusions can also develop due to limb length discrepancies, arthritis, or foot injuries, or they may be hereditary. Bunions become more pronounced over time unless treated. (Try a pair of these cute, comfortable sandals with arch support.) 

Even mild bunions can be painful when shoes press against them. The skin over the bump at the base of the big toe can become callused and red, and sores can occur between the toes. In rare cases, the big toe can move under the second toe, causing severe pain. (Manage bunion pain with these effective solutions.) 

While only surgery can make a bunion disappear, you can prevent one from getting larger and minimize pain, inflammation, and skin trauma. To begin with, wear comfortable shoes that don't squeeze your toes. You may consider having the toe boxes of your shoes stretched at a shoe repair shop. You can also cushion the bunion with a small doughnut-shaped pad, sold at most drugstores. To help lessen discomfort, ice the area during the day and soak your feet in warm water in the evening.

3 Common Types Of Bunion Surgery 

If other options haven't worked, your doctor may suggest one of these procedures to realign your toe and eliminate the bunion. (Here's what you need to know if you're considering bunion surgery.) 

Osteotomy
If a bunion has caused severe misalignment, small breaks are made in the big toe. Pins or screws secure the joint.

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Exostectomy
If a bunion bump is very large, a piece of bone will be cut off the big toe joint before an osteotomy.

Arthrodesis
If the bunion was caused by severe arthritis, the arthritic surfaces of the joint are removed; screws, wires, or plates hold the joint together as it heals.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can help relieve bunion pain, as can oral turmeric or ginger supplements, which are naturally anti-inflammatory but may work slowly. (Are homeopathic treatments safe? We took a close look.) 

If the bunion continues to cause extreme pain or swelling that limits your daily activities, consult a podiatrist or orthopedist. Surgery to realign the toe joint may be your best option. The procedure is typically done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. It can be expensive and may affect your balance afterward. Recovery takes about 6 weeks and often requires crutches. Some people opt for surgery because they want to wear fashionable shoes or think bunions are unattractive. But I don't recommend having the surgery for cosmetic reasons alone. It should be reserved for instances when the bunion causes significant pain or interferes with everyday activities.






Video: Battling Bunions

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Date: 10.12.2018, 10:58 / Views: 55162