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Bunion, the common name for hallux valgus, is a prominent bump of the great toe at the outer edge where it joins the foot. This bump is sensitive to pressure caused from wearing shoes that fit too tightly. Shoes that are pointed and too narrow squeeze the great toe and cause it to drift toward the little toes.
Wearing sandals and accommodative shoes can help. Often wearing a pad, available from a drugstore foot counter, will relieve symptoms. If pain persists or shoe fitting is difficult, and the bump is quite noticeable, you should discuss this problem with your physician. Some bunions need surgical correction. Avoid having bunion surgery for cosmetic reasons.
There are many operations for bunions, often named for the orthopaedic surgeon who developed the procedure: McBride, Keller, Mitchell and Lapidus, to name a few. Most not only remove the bump but correct what causes the bunion so that it does not grow back. Your orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist will discuss with you which procedure, if any, is appropriate.
All swellings of the great toe are not bunions. For example, a swelling could be caused by gout, which strikes thousands of Americans. This special type of arthritis can be diagnosed only by medical examination and laboratory testing. Diet and special medications can treat gout.
If you would like to make an appointment with us regarding this issue (or any other foot related issue), please call 817 847-8500.