The bunions are a bulge that is formed between the plant and the big toe of the feet following a deviation called hallux valgus.
The hallux valgus is a deformation of the first metatarsal of the big toe, the bunions are formed due to this deviation. When the big toe rests on the second finger, a bulge forms on the outer side of the foot, which can become inflamed and reddened and may cause a lot of pain. If this deformation is not corrected in time, it can also affect the rest of the fingers.
The symptoms of bunions usually appear when the problem is at an advanced stage. However, there have been cases in which patients who have suffered for years have never come to denote any symptoms.
Why do bunions appear?
There are several reasons why bunions are formed, these may be hereditary, due to genetic causes, or external. Generally, they usually appear for genetic reasons. Since the causes of the formation of the bunions are mainly genetic, there will be people with greater predisposition to suffer them than others.
Patients who have flat feet or who tend to overload the first metatarsus-phalangeal joint and the first finger when walking, will be more at risk of developing them. In addition, external factors such as footwear, overweight or lifestyle also influence its training.
Treatment for bunions
As mentioned above and regardless of the cause of appearance of the bunion or hallux valgus, once they have appeared they must be treated effectively and on time. Otherwise, they can worsen quickly and cause great damage.
Bunions will not disappear on their own if an external treatment is not applied. There are several methods that serve to relieve the pain of the bunions, which we will explain later. If what is wanted is to eliminate the problem completely, the patient will have to undergo a surgical operation. There are several techniques to remove the bunions surgically, the most used are the following:
Operation of bunions with osteotomy
It is based on the realignment of the bone (first metatarsal) of the big toe so that it retains its original shape. As soon as the deviation is eliminated, the bunion will disappear with it, since the tissues that were in tension are released.
It is worth mentioning that the operation is indicated for patients who present a deviation of more than 30º, when the bunion presents a certain severity. This type of intervention is simple and does not require hospitalizationof the patient, is ambulatory and lasts between 30 and 90 minutes.
Operation of bunions without osteotomy
This operation is called percutaneous surgery and is considered to be minimally invasive. This is because the surgeon does not make large incisions or against the bone.
As in the previous case, after the surgery the tissue stops being pressed and therefore the bunion disappears.
It is recommended for the milder or moderate cases of bunions. The duration of the intervention also varies between 30 and 90 minutes.
How to prevent bunions
As mentioned above, there are a number of methods by which you can prevent and relieve the pain that bunions cause. These are the following:
- Wear wide-toe shoes. Bunions are more common in women than in men. This is due to the type of footwear we wear. The continued use of high-heeled shoes and closed toe shoes predisposes to the appearance of bunions.
- Use interdigital spacers. Its function is to separate the fingers from each other and keep the finger in the proper position. They are also useful foam rubber pads, these will avoid rubbing the bunion with the shoe.
- Ice can be applied to the bunion between 2 and 3 times a day. This will help to reduce inflammation and reduce pain.
- Inflammation may be treated with anti- inflammatory medicationsprescribed by the specialist.
- Activities that can cause pain in the bunion should be avoided.
Being a hereditary condition, prevention can be useless, since they will appear anyway. However, it will help to prevent the problem from getting worse and reduce the pain, as well as the symptoms.