Bunions are a deformity of the deformity of the joint of the big toe, or hallux toe, causing lateral deviation of the big toeor hallux toe, which causes lateral deviation of the big toe, as well as swelling and pain when walking.
The bunions affect both men and women, although the latter are more frequently affected.although the latter are more frequently affected.
There are several causes for its appearance, including the use of certain types of footwear. type of footwear incorrect size, overweight and genetic predisposition genetic predisposition.
This is the main ailment treated by podiatrists worldwide.Although it is not a problem that affects health, it can significantly alter the aesthetics and function of the foot, affecting the person’s ability to walk. the person’s ability to walk..
We will explain how to prevent bunions or, if you already suffer from this problem, how you can solve it.
What causes bunions?
The bunion, medically called hallux valgus, is a deformity of the joint of the big toe, accompanied by inflammation and calcification of the same.
It can have several causes, but the main ones are:
- Genetic predisposition.
- Prolonged use of footwear of inappropriate type or size.
- Excess weight or bad walking habits.
- Inflammatory or degenerative diseases of the joints or bones.
The bunion of genetic origin most often occurs in people whose parents people whose parents already suffer from this condition. In these cases, bunions can appear from an early age.
The people with flat feetwith an underdeveloped arch are also susceptible to bunions at an early age. are also susceptible to bunions at an early age..
The prolonged use of inappropriate footwear, such as women’s high heels, can also lead to bunions, even in young people.such as women’s high-heeled shoes, can also lead to bunions, even in young people.
This shoe alters the distribution of body weight when stepping, pushing the toes against the toe of the shoe and putting excessive pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint. excessive pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint.
This diverts the big toe (hallux) from its natural alignment and alters the gait, since it is the toe that exerts the most force when walking and is key to maintaining balance in the gait.
Likewise, diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis rheumatoid arthritis can also inflame and alter the shape of the toe joints joints of the toes, causing bunions and “claw toes”.causing bunions and “claw toes”.
How can bunions be prevented?
The bunions once developed are not preventable and require medical and require medical treatment or surgery to correct them when they appear.
However, people who do not suffer from it can prevent it by adopting proper prevent its appearance by adopting appropriate habits in the use of footwear and gait.
Here the key key here is to wear the right footwearespecially if you are a person with a family history of bunions.
The ideal footwear should not be too high (in the case of women), nor too tight, and above all, it should not distribute the body weight properly, should adequately distribute the body weight over the entire sole of the foot. the entire sole of the foot.
Wearing the right size shoes, with good internal support, is very useful to avoid excessive stress on the toe joints.
How do I know if I am about to suffer from bunions?
Bunions have some symptoms that appear in the early stages.
The main symptom is the appearance of a small bulge or lump on the outside of the big toe joint, which may gradually grow as the joint deformity progresses. or lump on the outside of the big toe joint, which may gradually grow as the deformity of the joint progresses.
Even before the bump appears, there may be redness or swelling of the big toe. redness or swelling of the big toe, as well as intermittent or persistent pain.as well as intermittent or persistent pain.
If you suffer from these symptoms, see a podiatrist to determine if you are in the early stages of bunions.
If this situation is not addressed, the deformity will progress; little by little the first toe will deviate towards the second toe and may overlap it.
At this stage there may be discomfort when wearing footwearThis is due to the rubbing of the inflamed area or because the alteration of the shape of the foot prevents it from being placed and worn comfortably.
The presence of bunions and the alteration of the shape of the foot can lead to pain in the hips, back, knees and sole of the foot as a result of the functional change of this limb.as a result of the functional change of this extremity.
How can I relieve bunions?
The bunions can only be corrected with surgery, but the pain and inflammationbut the accompanying pain and swelling can be relieved with some treatments prescribed by the podiatrist. treatments prescribed by the podiatristafter a case-by-case study.
The most commonly used are anti-inflammatory medications, or cold or heat therapies, which help mitigate pain and inflammation in the bunion area.
A change of footwear to a more comfortable shoe is also recommended to relieve pressure on the affected toes and in certain cases the use of insoles inside the shoe.
use of insoles inside the shoe
helps to balance the foot when walking and thus relieve the pressure on the bunion.
The use of protective measures and wide shoes can reduce pain, but progressively cause a greater degree of deformity.
When is it advisable to have bunion surgery?
The surgery is the only way to correct the shape and position of the and position of the joint joint affected by bunions.
It is recommended that surgery be performed before the foot has lost function, shows excessive deformity or there is acute pain, since the results will not be the same.
It is usually an outpatient surgery outpatient surgeryhospitalization and with a very fast recovery thanks to the use of minimal incision techniques. minimal incision techniques.
The postoperative period lasts a maximum of two months and at the end the foot recovers practically all its functionality.
Article prepared by Clínica San Román
Date of publication: 7-2-2020