A bunion is the enlargement of the big toe joint that causes the big toe to drift towards the second toe. If you imagine a gum ball sized bone enlargement stuffed in your shoe next to the big toe, that’s the type of pain bunion sufferers walk around with daily. The deformity causes pain is from pressure on the metatarsal bone from shoes that are to narrow for the size of your foot. Bunions are common and may be caused by many reasons, mainly heredity that causes the bone to develop incorrectly and is exacerbated by tighter shoes. If left untreated, it can become progressively worse and the second toe may overlap the big toe eventually causing secondary pain under the ball of the foot and hammer toes. Bunions can occur in 15% of the population and women are more commonly affected than men. You can get shooting pain on the side of the metatarsal where the bunion is located. There are many options and procedures that we typically use to get great results, Foot and ankle function along with heredity factors contribute to the degree of deformity.
When treating painful bunions, there are limited non-surgical choices: changing shoes to reduce rubbing and using a shoe with more space for your toes. If the pain just started recently, we can use a injection around the joint to reduce the swelling and inflammation. Using a silicone bunion shield can reduce the rubbing and pressure. New advancements in surgical correction can now be performed with excellent success. The procedure involves going to a surgical center and under sedation which is like twilight sleep, removing the bunion and realigning the bone with a cut which is held in place with two small screws. The patient can walk on the foot right a way but of course limited. The patient must keep their foot elevated and iced after surgery. The cut in the bone which is called a osteotomy is fixated with special screws that allow healing to occur in weeks and thus the patient recovery is quicker and a better result and return to activity is sooner.
Correction comes from a proven advanced technique that I have performed over the last 37 years. It involves removing the bunion enlargement and realigning the bone. Using advances Compression Technique, it takes less than a hour to complete the correction and the benefit of this new procedure is the ability to walk on your foot right away. These procedures are called a Austin bunionectomy or a Chevron bunionectomy. Also, you can start early range of motion to help prevent stiffness to the big toe joint. The incision is normally small and can be closed by using a plastic surgery technique that reduces scarring and many times the patient can be back to work and in a shoe very quickly. We take an x-ray with a mini c-arm before and after the surgery and I will send you home with a copy to see the correction. I will call you at home that evening to make sure you are doing well and review any questions. Patients normally have only mild pain which is controlled by taking pain medication regularly to break the pain cycle. We see you back within the week for follow-up care.
Podiatrists specialize in diagnosing and treating foot and ankle problems. Our education is a four-year medical education focused on problems affecting the foot and ankle followed by a surgical residency. Podiatrists need to have expertise in orthopedics, radiology, general problems of the foot, and surgery.
We use advanced techniques like Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP) and Laser Nail Fungus treatments.
To learn more about bunions or to schedule an appointment for any of the problems listed above, go to www, kcfootcare.com or call our main phone number, 816-461-7755. We have offices conveniently located in Overland Park and Kansas City North.
Dr. Thomas Bembynista has been in practice for 37 years. He speaks across the country and develops webinars for the treatment of nail fungus and other foot and ankle problems. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He offers expert, professional podiatric services, focusing on patient care and responding to his patients’ needs.