They can be caused by uncomfortable shoes or even genetics, doctors say bunions are extremely common, but some people are at a higher risk for developing them than others.
Dr. Michael Black, an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health, says patients can wear wide, stiff shoes to minimize the pain, but often surgery is needed to remove the bunion. “The term bunion really implies a bump on the inside portion of the foot just behind the big toe joint. These surgeries should be thought of as a way of decreasing deformity, pain, and getting patients to fit better in a shoe.”
While shoes and genetics can cause bunions, doctors say patients with flat feet are more likely to develop bunions. “A lot of times I’ll say, you have a bunion but you also have a flat foot deformity. So if we fix the bunion alone we may see more problems with it trying to come back unless we also correct your flat foot deformity,” said Dr. Black.
Flat feet happen when the arches of the foot don’t develop during childhood, so the entire foot touches the floor when the patients walk or stand. Flat feet can cause a break down in the ligaments underneath the foot leading to instability. “Once the arch becomes unstable it allows the metatarsal to sway and the toe to get pulled to the side,” said Dr. Black.
In most cases doctors can fix all of the problems during surgery. “Instability, alignment, and the bump all need to be corrected,” said Dr. Black.
Removing the pain and preventing the problem from coming back.
View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/
Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.