When it comes to bunions, we at Texas Foot Specialists often find that many patients don’t know much about this common podiatric disorder, beyond how to recognize one by its signature bump on the side of the toe. Below are some true/false statements to help you learn more about bunions and their treatment.
Bunions are an inherited condition.
False. The bunions themselves are not genetic. However, a biomechanical defect in the structure of the foot, which is the most common source of a bunion, is often hereditary.
More women than men get bunions.
True. This may be attributed to the fact that women often wear high heeled shoes with narrow, pointy toe boxes. These designs force the foot forward and squeeze the toes together, which in turn can cause the toe to move out of place and begin to drift toward the second toe.
Bunions only form on the big toe.
False. Bunions are most commonly found at the base of the big toe, but they can also form on the little or pinky toe. These are called tailor’s bunion or bunionette.
You don’t need to see the podiatrist if your bunion is not painful.
False. You should have a bunion evaluated by our podiatrists Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller as soon as you suspect that one is beginning to form. Bunions are a progressive condition that will only get worse over time. The foot doctor will want to examine your foot and may order x-rays or other imaging studies to use to track the progression of your bunion. Although only surgery can correct a bunion, the foot doctor can use other treatments such as orthotics, padding and physical therapy to slow the progression and decrease discomfort associated with this disorder.
Pain from bunions is not just in the affected joint.
True. In addition to the joint itself, the pressure and friction from footwear can cause painful corns and calluses to develop. Without treatment, the problematic foot structure issues and worsening defect can cause other secondary problems such as hammertoe to develop as well.