The Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada

A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions form when the toe moves out of place. The enlargement and its protuberance cause friction and pressure as they rub against footwear. Over time, the movement of the big toe angles in toward the other toes . The growing enlargement or protuberance then causes more irritation or inflammation. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, which is known as Hallus Abducto Varus. Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe.

Many people with bunions suffer from discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction of the enlargement against shoes. The skin over the toe becomes red and tender. Because this joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Over time, bursitis or arthritis may set in, the skin on the bottom of the foot may become thicker, and everyday walking may become difficult--all contributing to chronic pain.

Bunions have been with mankind since the beginning of time. Undoubtedly they have received more attention since shoes have become a vital part of our fashion. It is generally recognized that those who have a bunion deformity most probably inherited the tendency from an earlier generation. So often people are told "don't have anything done until you can't stand the pain"! This is a misconception! Our rule of thumb is that when it becomes obvious that you have a bunion, that is the time to correct it!

Treatment for Bunions

Certainly the goal in bunion treatment is to limit the deformity and to stop the progression if it has already begun. This can only be done in the very beginning stages. When it is seen that the deformity is beginning in children and young adults, often the use of a good custom orthotic will stop the progression of the deformity. Also wearing shoes that do not irritate the deformity is also wise.

Surgical Treatment

The greatest hurdle that people with bunion deformities have to overcome is history. In most instances, these people have had a relative with the same deformity who years ago had surgery and they remember the pain and the weeks and months in casts and on crutches. They also remember that after going through all of this pain and suffering, in many instances the bunion came back.

The good news is that in the past 10 years new techniques and better instrumentation have been developed. Bunion correction of today involves the use of micro instruments with precise cuts in the bone to correct the deformity, thus limiting the rate of re-occurrence. The old days of the doctor saying "I'm going to have to break the bone and reset" it are gone. If anyone says that to you, run as fast as you can! Gone are the days of casts and crutches and wheel chairs post-operatively. Only in the most severe cases must the patient be "non-weight bearing". In most cases, the patients at the Ford Center can resume a fairly normal lifestyle in days or weeks rather than months.

At the Ford Center for Foot Surgery, the procedures are done with I.V. sedation administered by one of our qualified anesthesiologists. We also use a regional anesthetic which is much safer than a general anesthetic. We can do this because we do not use tournequets when we do foot surgery. This minimizes post operative pain as well as the risk of blood clots. The net result of this is that the patient is awake and can walk within minutes following the surgery but their foot is numb for 18 - 20 hours.

The procedure itself is accomplished through an incision on the inside of the foot, thus there are no unsightly scars. The capsule of the joint is exposed and is opened revealing the "bump" on the side of the metatarsal bone. The over growth of bone is removed. Next a very precise "V" cut is made in the bone from one side to the other and the end or head of the bone is moved over. This narrows the foot back down to its normal width. To maintain this, a small screw is placed in the bone to secure the correction. The skin and soft tissues are then sutured and the foot bandaged. The foot is then placed in a post op shoe that will be worn for several weeks.

As a general rule, our patients return to comfortable shoes in 2 to 3 weeks.

Search Results
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist, also called a doctor of podiatric medicine, is a specialist who provides medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems, such as bunions, heel pain, spurs, hammertoes, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, corns and calluses...

Diabetes and Your Feet
... If you have red spots, sore spots, blisters, corns, calluses, or consistent pain associated with wearing shoes, new proper fitted shoes must be obtained immediately...

Skin Problems
Allergies Athlete's Foot (tenia pedis) Blisters Burning Feet Calluses Corns Cysts Frostbite Fungus Gangrene Lesions Psoriasis Smelly Feet and Foot Odor Swelling Ulcers Warts

Bunions
... Removal of corns and calluses on the foot...

Claw Toe
... Corns on the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot...

Spurs
...Surgery may be prescribed if spurring around the joint becomes severe or leads to recurrent pain from persistent corns...

Nail Fungus
... Use a quality foot powder (talcum, not cornstarch) in conjunction with shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe...

General Information and Tips
...Foot pain is caused by a wide variety of injuries, health problems or disorders, including (but not limited to): Arthritis Bone spurs Bunions Calluses Corns Flat Feet Gout Ingrown toenails Plantar fasciitis Sprains Stress fractures Warts Wearing improper shoes or extensive use of the feet...

Corns
Corns are calluses that form on the toes because of bones that push up against shoes and build up pressure on the skin...

Fungus
... Use a quality foot powder (talcum, not cornstarch) in conjunction with shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe...

Warts
...They are often mistaken for corns or calluses, which are layers of dead skin that build up to protect an area which is being continuously irritated...

Bunions
... Removal of corns and calluses on the foot...

Claw Toe
... Corns on the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot...

Hammertoes
...People with hammertoe may have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe...

Athletic Foot Care
...Added to these are common complaints such as corns, calluses and Athlete's Foot...

Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells...

Diabetic Foot Care
... And never attempt to cut your own bunions or corns as this can lead to infection, as well...

Self-Assessment Quiz
... no 0   - have corns, calluses, bunions or hammertoes...

General Information
... Corns and hammertoes...

Physical Therapy
...Heel spurs, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, bunions, corns and calluses, as well as many post-operative surgical conditions, respond well to physical therapy...

Basketball
...Not enough room can lead to blisters, corns, and calluses...

Jogging and Running
... The most common foot problems associated with jogging or running are blisters, corns, calluses, Athlete's Foot, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis...

Getting a Proper Fit
...Shoes that do not fit properly can cause bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes and other disabling foot disorders...

Fitness And Your Feet
... The following are common ailments caused by improper foot care during exercise: Athlete's foot; Blisters; Corns and calluses; and Heel pain (including heel spurs)...

Walking and Your Feet
...The most common foot problems are blisters, corns, calluses, and plantar fasciitis...