There are many misconceptions about bunions. Bunions are most commonly described as a bump on the side of the foot. However, a bunion can be much more than that. Most often bunions are actually a representation of change in the bony framework of the foot. The primary contributing factor to a bunion deformity is inherited. Yes, you get this from your parents or grandparents, and is common among relatives. No you don't get bunions from shoes. But wait, shoes do affect how a person's bunion may feel. Wearing shoes that crowd the toes, will also press on the bump and cause pain. Also, in theory the deforming forces on the joint can be increased with less supportive shoes. Yes, flip flops and very high heels can make your bunions worse. Changing your shoes and wearing orthotics (arch supports) can be helpful, and many do very well with conservative treatment for many years.
For some correcting the bony alignment with Bunion Surgery is the best solution. For those who have been managing their bunion with appropriate shoes, and continue to have pain that is “keeping them from the activity they would like to do”, Bunion Surgery may be the best option. Currently, Osteotomy is the most common procedure for bunionectomy. A Distal Osteotomy, otherwise know as a Chevron or Austin Bunionectomy, requires 6 to 8 weeks for bone healing and up to 3 to 4 months of swelling. So, planning is the most important aspect of scheduling a surgery. Many surgeons, including surgeons in our group, use absorbable pins to fix the Bunion. These absorbable pins do not need to be removed and thus may prevent the need for a second surgery to remove a screw or metallic implant. Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist to discuss the appropriate treatment for you.