Dr. Justin Colanese, an orthopedic surgeon with Memorial's Orthopedic and Neurosciences Center, explains what a bunion is and treatment options to relieve discomfort.
What is a bunion?
Hallux valgus deformity is the medical term for a bunion, and basically, it's when the big toe drifts toward the other toes resulting in a bump on the inside part of the foot. It's really not a bump per se. It's a normal bone. It's just when it drifts over it becomes prominent, and it can rub on the shoes, cause discomfort, and it's very, very common. Bunions affect females more commonly than males, but I certainly have seen plenty of men with them as well.
What are the treatments for bunions?
The treatment is basically finding shoes that fit the foot. If you can't do that and there's still pain, make the foot fit the shoe by straightening the toe up. There's over 150 different surgeries for that, but basically the idea is shifting the metatarsal laterally and bringing in the big toe by just straightening it out the other way. It could be done by fusing the joint or cutting the bone. It's a successful procedure. Most patients are very happy they've had it done.