Bunions are painful, unsightly deformities that occur on the bony side of your big toe. Dr. Maislos, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS, and Dr. Lin, DPM regularly treat bunions, one of the most common foot conditions podiatrists deal with, at Houston Foot and Ankle Care. At our Houston locations, we first offer symptomatic relief through modifications like changing your footwear, only opting for surgery as a last resort. If you have a bunion, call or schedule an appointment online today for more information.
Bunion Q & A
What are bunions?
Bunions are small, bony bumps that develop on the joint at the base of your big toe. They form when your big toe gets pushed up against the neighboring toe. This causes the joint of your big toe to grow in size and protrude out. Generally, bunions appear red and feel very sore. Bunions are also sometimes called hallux valgus deformities, or great toe deformity.
There are a variety of other foot deformities affecting the big toe and other parts of the foot that are similar to bunions, such as:
A tailor’s bunion, or bunionette, is a smaller version that forms at the base of your little toe.
Hallux rigidus, or a stiff big toe, refers to a big toe deformity that forms at the base of the big toe, much like a bunion. It typically develops in adults ages 30-60 and is common in arthritis patients. If you have hallux rigidus, you can’t bend your big toe up and down.
What are the symptoms of bunions?
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms:
- A bump sticking out the side of your big toe at its base
- Swelling, redness, or soreness near your big toe joint
- Corns or calluses
- Persistent pain
- Sporadic pain
- Restricted movement of your big toe
If your bunion is extremely painful and limits your ability to function, seek medical attention from Dr. Maislos right away.
How do bunions form?
Wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow at the toes can lead to bunions or cause them to worsen. In some rare cases, the natural shape of your foot, an inherited defect, may cause bunions to form. There’s also a variety of risk factors that increase your chances of developing bunions, including:
- Wearing high heels or ill-fitting shoes
- Having arthritis
- Family history of bunions
To prevent bunions from forming, choose comfortable, well-fitting shoes and practice good foot hygiene.
How are bunions treated?
The treatment for your bunion depends on the specifics of your condition. Dr. Maislos first evaluates your bunion during a physical exam and asks you questions about your pain symptoms. One treatment he offers is the lapidus procedure, which treats bunions caused by first tarsometatarsal (TMT) joint hypermobility.
Dr. Maislos also provides a procedure known as the Austin bunionectomy, the surgical removal of a bunion. The procedure involves making a V-shaped incision into the bone to shift it into the correct position and screws maintain the bone’s correct position.
If you have a bunion, call Houston Foot and Ankle Care or schedule an appointment online today and learn more about your treatment options.