What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base joint of the big toe. This unsightly and often painful condition tends to push the big toe against the other toes, causing discomfort and various other problems.
Hallux Valgus Explained
In medical terminology, a bunion is often called “hallux valgus.” This is a fancy way of saying that the big toe is leaning away from the body’s midline.
Causes of Bunions
Ever heard the saying, “It’s in the genes”? Well, with bunions, it often is. You’re more likely to develop bunions if your parents or grandparents had bunions.
High heels and narrow, tight shoes contribute to the development of bunions. Why? Because they put excessive pressure on the front of the foot, thereby encouraging the formation of bunions.
If you’re standing or walking for extended periods, especially in ill-fitting shoes, you could set the stage for bunions to make their painful appearance.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The most noticeable symptom is a bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe. However, you may also experience pain, swelling, and redness.
Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination by a doctor, sometimes supplemented by X-rays to assess the bone structure and the severity of the bunion.
Treatment Options for Bunions
Orthotic inserts, pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory medications are the usual go-to’s for mild cases. Padding and taping can also relieve pressure and discomfort.
Surgical Options (When Surgery is the Only Solution)
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, non-surgical therapies don’t offer the relief we seek for conditions like bunions. When that’s the case, surgery becomes the next course of action. But fear not—Dr Tan Ken Jin brings a new surgical precision and care. Here’s what you can expect:
The Revolution of Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery
Gone are the days of lengthy recovery and scarring from traditional bunion surgeries. With smaller incisions and modern technology, you can look forward to a swifter recovery, minimized scarring, and, most importantly—less discomfort.
The Guidance Jig System
Dr Tan Ken Jin takes surgical precision to the next level by being Singapore’s first and only surgeon to implement the avant-garde guidance jig system for bunion surgery. This technology allows for laser-accurate alignment, ensuring you receive the best possible outcome.
Traditional Methods with a Modern Twist
While innovation is key, traditional surgical treatments like Bunionectomy and Osteotomy remain reliable options. These procedures involve the removal of the bony bump at the base of the big toe and realigning bones in the foot, respectively.
Addressing Advanced Cases
For those grappling with severe arthritis or deformities, Arthrodesis offers a long-lasting solution. This procedure fuses the affected joint, providing stability and relief from pain.
Alternatively, Resection Arthroplasty removes a small segment of the joint to correct alignment and ease discomfort.
From ice packs to soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt, there are various ways to relieve bunion pain at home.
Opt for shoes with good arch support and a wide toe box. Your toes need room to breathe and move!
Regular exercise focusing on foot strength can help prevent the development or worsening of bunions.
The Social and Emotional Impact of Bunions
Having bunions can be more than just a physical inconvenience. They can affect your self-esteem and even limit your social interactions due to pain or embarrassment.
Bunions can be painful and bothersome, but understanding their causes and treatments can pave the way for effective management. Whether through lifestyle changes, conservative treatments, or surgery, there are various ways to cope with this standard foot issue.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What are the early signs of a bunion
A. Redness, pain, and a noticeable bump are early signs.
Q. Do bunions get worse over time?
A. Yes, they can worsen if not managed properly.
Q. Can bunions be treated without surgery?
A. Many cases can be managed with non-surgical treatments.
Q. Do flat feet contribute to bunions?
A. Yes, flat feet can put you at higher risk.
Q. How long does bunion surgery recovery take?
A. Recovery varies, but it generally takes 6-8 weeks.