Bunions are one of the most common foot disorder seen in Podiatry. A bunion occurs when the position of the big toe deviates towards the lesser toes and the metatarsal moves towards the midline. There are many reasons why this deformity occurs such as:
- Biomechanical factors (pronation)
- Neuromuscular dysfunction
- Ligament Dysfunction (laxity)
- Hereditary factors
- Footwear habits
- Foot type
The most common causative factor occurs when feet are subjected to constant pronation. Inheriting a foot type from your family that is prone to bunion is also a common cause. Bunions are a problem that has many causes and more than one may be occurring at the same time.
Treatment for bunions
There are two ways to treat this pathological foot conditions, conservatively and surgically. Conservative treatment is the first line treatment which consists of splints and orthotic care to reduce the causative factors. Realigning the foot with the aid of an orthotic helps prevent further degeneration and reduce symptoms. Orthotics will also help the function of the big toe joint as it allows it to bend in the correct position.
Footwear advice is also essential in the conservative care of bunions, there may be a need to change footwear, so it is able to fit properly and compliment prescribed orthotics. Surgical correction of HAV is available, however should only be considered when conservative care has failed to reduce the progression and symptoms of the patients bunion. It is only considered if there is a clear sign that it will induce a better quality of life for the patient.