Dr. Dollinger: Bunions

Leonardo da Vinci said, “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”  Of course, he never had the technology to see the feet as we do today, but there are still engineering mysteries to be solved.

One of those mysteries appears as a bump on the inside of the big toe as the tip starts to drift inward, commonly known as a bunion.  It’s mysterious because there is no specific cause for this ailment, there are hundreds of possible operations, and many well-educated specialists have differing opinions on how to treat or prevent them.  That said, there are many accepted theories and trends.

Bunions happen mostly to women and are thought to be genetic, although many doctors agree that fashion footwear (like high heels) are a major cause.  They are common in people with flat-foot deformities and tight tendons.  Patients describe them as being moderately to very painful, limiting their motion and causing redness and swelling.

Treatment for bunions can range from wearing comfortable orthotics (to help disperse weight and provide more support) to performing surgery that would remove the bump and reset the big toe.  As I mentioned above, many surgeons with experience still disagree on the exact type of surgery to treat a bunion, so procedures are designed to best fit their experience and their patient’s specific case.

If you’re pre-disposed to bunions through genetics or by wearing high-heeled shoes, it’s best to provide support for your feet as often as possible with orthotics and other comfortable footwear. If you have questions about preventing or treating bunions, feel free to contact me at bdollinger@aomc.org – or schedule an appointment in Horseheads today.

Have a great day,
Dr. Beth Dollinger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s