Bunions

Some medical professionals believe that the condition is solely due to ill-fitting footwear, while others believe it is a genetic structural defect that can be exacerbated by shoes. Despite the varying opinions, the reality is that it is probably a combination of both factors.

A bunion forms when pressure is applied to the side of the big toe, causing it to become inflamed and painful. The joint then protrudes, effectively making the foot wider. The second toe might then become displaced, which can cause a multitude of other issues like corn and callus development.

The bunion joint will have a reduced range of motion and often ends up arthritic. The condition usually develops later in life, but I am now seeing many people in their 20s with it.

REDUCING BUNION RISK

The best way to reduce your chances of developing a bunion is to wear shoes that fit properly. Any shoe that is too tight or too high will force your toes together and may cause the condition to develop.

Shoes need to be wide enough, so they aren’t rubbing against the joint, and preferably made of leather. Avoid shoes with a lot elaborate stitching at the front, as this can also cause irritation. Heels should be no more than three to four inches and you should only wear them occasionally. Court shoes should seldomly be worn, as they do not give the foot any support.

Be honest with yourself, you know if your shoes aren’t fitting you comfortably. Do something about it, or you will suffer for your vanity.

TREATING BUNIONS

Podiatrists will treat bunions conservatively, using paddings and orthotics, which are devices that are made to protect the joint or deviate pressure away from it.

Sometimes bunions will develop overlying callus or corns. These can be removed by a podiatrist, but if the area is irritated again by wearing ill-fitting footwear, the corn will grow back. Most people with this condition have flat feet, so arch supports are often recommended.

Some sufferers choose to have the bunion surgically removed. This should always be a last resort as all surgeries carry risks. There are several types of surgical procedures to remove bunions and before deciding, you should speak to your surgeon at length about the facts and risks associated with surgery, including the recovery time and success rate of the operation to be done.

Please note that if you have a surgical procedure and then return to your high heels and narrow-toed shoes, the bunion is likely to reoccur.




 

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