Bunion: When surgery is called for?
Hallux valgus, also known as bunion, is one of the most common orthopedic problems of the foot that causes pain. Since as far back as the 19th century, the treatment of the hallux valgus has been a concern. However, it was not until the beginning of the 20th century when more effective surgical methods emerged.
Hallux valgus is the deviation of the big toe inward toward the smaller toes. The real problem of hallux valgus, however, is the prominent head of the first metatarsal bone, or a protuberance at the base of your big toe, which causes friction against shoes and, consequently, discomfort and pain.
Hallux valgus occurs more often in women due to a number of factors. A genetic predisposition certainly plays a role in women as well as age. Bunions are also caused by female footwear, specifically high heels or pointed footwear. Rarely are external influences, such as accidents the cause for the deformity. Finally, a general connective tissue laxity has a promoting effect on the formation of a hallux.
There are various ways to correct the hallux valgus deformity. Your orthopedic surgeon and foot expert will give you detailed information.
Conservative or Surgical Treatment: At what point is surgery needed?
This question is answered relatively easily. Pain is the primary reason for surgery; cosmetic considerations should not play a role in the consideration for or against surgery. If the bunion hurts, it is the right time to seek advice about surgery with a foot specialist.
In some cases the rapid progression of the deformity makes an operation advisable, since a deformity in a highly advanced stage is more difficult to correct. There are several ways to correct a hallux deformity.