Bunionectomy (Metatarsal Osteotomy)
A bunion (“hallux valgus”) is a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. The main sign of a bunion is the big toe pointing towards the other toes on the same foot, which may force the foot bone attached to it (the first metatarsal) to stick outwards.
Other symptoms may include:
- a swollen, bony bump on the outside edge of the foot
- pain and swelling over the big toe joint that’s exacerbated by pressure from wearing shoes
- hard, callused and red skin caused by the big toe and second toe overlying
- sore skin over the top of the bunion
- changes to the shape of your foot, making it difficult to find shoes that fit
What causes bunions?
The exact cause of bunions isn’t known, but they tend to run in families and are more common in women than men. Wearing badly fitting shoes is thought to make bunions worse. Some health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout, may also be responsible for the occurrence of a bunion.
Non-surgical treatments for bunions are often attempted and evaluated before progressing to surgery, including painkillers, orthotics (insoles) and bunion pads. These don’t improve the appearance of the foot but can help to reduce the symptoms, such as pain.
If symptoms are severe and don’t respond to non-surgical treatments surgery may be considered.