What is a Bunion?
Bunions are often described as a bump on the side of the big toe that develops as the first metatarsal shifts medially and the big toe shifts laterally towards the second toe. This misalignment of the bones and joints result from faulty inherited mechanical structure and function of the foot that causes the foot to compensate in the development of the bunion. This is a progressive disorder that worsens as time goes on if not addressed and may be aggravated by certain shoe types. Treatment may consist of padding, injections, anti-inflammatory medications, change in shoe gear, orthotics or surgery.
Orthotics while not a cure, can eliminate or reduce many of the weaknesses and imbalances of the foot that are causing the bunion to grow and as a result, slow down the progression of the deformity to the point where pain and arthritic changes can be avoided and bunion surgery may not be necessary, especially if orthotic therapy is started early. As surgery corrects the deformity but not the cause, I will routinely have orthotics made for my patients to prevent the bunion from growing back.