Bunion Treatment and Surgery

What are bunions?

Hallux valgus, commonly known as a bunion, is a partial or complete dislocation of the joint at the base of the big toe that causes abnormal motion, pain, swelling, redness and/or burning. When the big toe dislocates and moves towards the smaller toes, the condition becomes more pronounced and painful. Dislocation of the joint leads to abnormal function.

The burning sensation is the result of one of the nerves that crosses the bunion area being squeezed by shoes.

What causes bunions?

Heredity plays a role in bunion formation and women typically suffer more than men from bunions. Shoes do not cause bunions, but can aggravate the condition. A major cause of bunions is abnormal mechanical function of the foot that is inherited.

As bunions progress, the big toe moves toward the second and third toes and can cause hammertoe deformities. In advanced cases, a fluid filled sac (bursa) develops between the skin and the joint as the body works to cushion the area. This makes the bunion very painful and red.

What is the treatment for bunions?

Treatment options may include shoe modifications, foot padding,
anti-inflammatory medication, orthotics, and/or injections. Surgical treatment may also be recommended. Following surgery, patients often wear a special shoe and more severe cases may require a cast or a boot.

Bunion surgical procedures are typically performed on an outpatient basis, or at a surgical center or hospital. Dr. Archer performs most of her surgery at her in-office fully accredited OR, which is a convenient and private option for her patients. Following bunion surgery, the patient should expect gradual return to normal function, and gradual reduction of the localized swelling, which is a normal part of the healing process.