What is a bunion and how did I get one? I hear this question almost every day in my office.
A bunion, sometimes referred to as Hallux Abducto Valgus or HAV, is the bump that develops along the big toe joint. Over time the long bone that goes to the big toe starts to shift and protrude out of the skin which can also cause the big toe to go sideways and sometimes under the second toe.
Bunions form through many factors; however, foot structure and genetics are the most common. Unfortunately, when a bunion becomes painful, few non-surgical options help. Typically, a wider shoe and avoiding activities that cause the bunion to be painful are your only options. If these solutions do not relieve the symptoms, then surgery may be recommended.
Many people are scared of bunion surgery having heard horror stories. However, there are over one hundred different types of bunion surgeries, and it has taken a long time for podiatrists and foot surgeons to figure out the best surgical methods for ideal outcomes.
Today, of all the surgical options once considered, less than a dozen are performed routinely in the United States. With better technology and procedures, bunion surgery has dramatically improved. More than 90% of patients can find relief with a simple 15-minute out-patient procedure in which the patient can walk the same day as the surgery. Patients generally require very little pain medication and are back to regular shoes in just a few weeks.
When performed correctly, patients will never have to worry about reoccurrence or future issues.
Matthew A. Hopson, DPM, FACFAS, is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon who joined TPMG Orthopedics in 2011. He specializes in adult and pediatric deformity correction of the foot and ankle. His practice includes a variety of cases ranging from complex deformities, lateral ankle instability, sports injuries, foot and ankle fractures, arthritis and other lower extremity ailments. Dr. Hopson is board certified in Foot and Ankle Reconstructive Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.