I had a bunionectomy in December of 2011. I had zero, I mean zero, post-op pain. Dr. Patel is the best! I refer all friends, family, and patients of my own to his practice. Everyone holds him in high regard.
Laura W., Milford, CT
Bunions are slow-burning bony deformities that begin to bulge out from the base of the big toe. They start small, but over time you’ll notice two things start to happen. One, a large and hard bump starts growing on the inside of the foot, where the largest digit meets the ball of the forefoot. And two, the tip of the toe tilts toward its neighbor, sometimes even trampling overtop!
Anyone who has a bunion can tell you that they feel just as uncomfortable as they look. That prominent bump can make wearing ordinary shoes a painful nightmare, not to mention cause secondary complications like corns and calluses. But not to worry! Our office can provide effective treatment remedies for bunions, and if you seek help when the deformity is still small, you can often manage the pain effectively without surgery.
What Causes Bunions?
Most experts would agree that most bunions have both a nature and nurture component:
- Nature. Certain inherited foot types, structures, and walking gaits will make some people more prone to instability in the big toe joint. That’s why so many bunions tend to run in families.
- Nurture. Tight, narrow footwear that squeezes toes or forces your body weight forward (especially high heels) can aggravate the bunion and cause it to worsen at a faster pace. Also, foot injuries and certain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis are associated with bunion formation.
Conservative Treatments for Bunions
We always prefer to treat bunions conservatively whenever possible. If you go out and get help immediately once you notice the problem—rather than wait until the pain becomes too severe to ignore—we can usually help you stop your bunion from getting worse.
Conservative treatments include:
- Ditching the heels and other impractical shoes and switching to roomier, comfortable pairs that allow toes to wiggle.
- Nonmedicated bunion pads to reduce friction.
- Taping or splinting to keep the toe in proper alignment, if the joint remains flexible enough to do this.
- Oral medications, or steroid injections for tougher pain.
- Padded shoe inserts, especially custom orthotics
A bunion that is no longer responding to conservative therapies may require surgical correction. Depending on the severity of the bunion and your long-term needs and goals, one or more procedures may be attempted:
- Removal of swollen soft tissues around the deformed joint
- Repair or transfer of tendons and ligaments around the deformed joint
- Trimming of excess bone at the base of the joint (exostectomy)
- Cutting and realigning the toes bones so that they lie straight (osteotomy)
- Fusing one or more joints so that the toe can no longer become misaligned (arthrodesis)
- Removing the damaged portions of the joint to create a flexible joint space made from scar tissue (resection arthroplasty)
Most people are very satisfied with their bunion surgery results, and find that it helps them return to their regular activities without pain in a reasonable timeframe. That said, full recovery may take several months, and it will be important to follow your surgeon’s explicit instructions for post-operative care very seriously.
Best Bunion Care in Connecticut
If you’re finally ready to do something about your bunions, please give Dr. Sanjay Patel of Family Foot Care & Surgery a call. You can reach our offices in Milford and Hamden by calling (203) 876-7736.