A bunion is a sore bump in the joint that connects your big toe to your foot. Commonly caused by wearing tight, narrow shoes with high heels, more than one-third of American women have bunions. When a person has a bunion, the base of their big toe sticks out. The skin over the joint becomes tender and wearing any kind of shoe is painful. If left untreated, a bunion may cause the big toe to migrate toward the second toe, sometimes angling underneath the second toe entirely. Walking becomes difficult and arthritis can develop in the joints of other toes as well as the big toe.
Most bunions can be treated without surgery. However, if a person has difficulty walking, finding shoes that can accommodate the bunion, or pain in spite of roomier shoes, surgery may be necessary. During bunion surgery, the ligaments and tendons holding the big toe out of place are realigned to allow the toe to return to its normal position. Using minimally invasive surgery techniques, Dr. Jonathan Thurm is able to alleviate the pain of bunions without the painful downtime of other surgical options.
The best way to prevent a bunion is to choose shoes wisely. Never force a foot into a shoe that is too tight. Instead, choose a shoe that has a wide instep, soft soles, and a broad toe box. Opt for a shoe that conforms to the foot rather one that does not. Opt for heels that are less than two inches tall to prevent pressure on the joints of the big toe. If a person already has a bunion, consult Dr. Thurm for ways to keep the bunion from progressing including over-the-counter pads and custom-fit orthotics.