Bunions are bony lumps or malformations that form at the big toe joint, where the toe joins the foot. They form when pressure on the big toe forces it out of its normal alignment over time. As pressure on the upper portion of the toe forces the toe to lean inward toward the other toes, the joint slowly moves toward the outside of the foot. Over time, the bunion causes a deformity in the joint that can lead to significant pain anytime pressure is applied to the toe or the bunion. Often, the skin over a bunion forms blisters or calluses caused by friction from shoes.
Without proper medical attention, the big toe joint can become stiff, and arthritis—and eventually, the toe itself—can be forced over neighboring toes, making it very difficult to find shoes that fit comfortably. Getting medical care for a bunion at its earliest stages is essential for preventing permanent joint deformity and ongoing pain.
Bunions tend to form more often in people with specific types of inherited foot shapes or gait patterns, but they can also form in people who wear shoes that are very tight in the toe area. The restricted “toe box” forces the top of the big toe inward, while the joint at the base of the toe accommodates the pressure by moving out of its normal alignment. Other factors like injuries or arthritis can also contribute to bunion formation, as well as long-term use of high-heeled shoes that force the toes down into the toe area of the shoe.
Bunions often can be treated conservatively and without surgery as long as you seek treatment early. In the earlier stages, the joint is still flexible, and treatment options like splinting and exercise can help coax the joint back into its normal position. Wearing custom orthotics and shoes with roomier toes is also important in managing bunions in these early stages, and pain can be managed with oral medications or injections to relieve inflammation.
In later stages when the joint has become stiff and arthritic, you might require surgery to realign the joint. Dr. LaMour uses the most advanced surgical techniques to reposition the joint, relying on tiny screws or pins to hold the joint in place when necessary.
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"I'm back on my dancing feet due to Dr. LaMour's close management. Thanks."
"Dr. LaMour is professional, friendly, and very honest. I found that he never over prescribes treatment and does take time to get to know his patients."
"Dr. LaMour and all the staff are great. I thought he would recommend surgery right away, but he was able to help me out with my bunion pain with out surgery."