Bunions, also referred to as hallux valgus, are some deformities that affect the upper joint of the big toe. Due to this deformity, the toe becomes swollen, tender, and painful. In most cases, the bunion appears like a small bump, which can be triggered by the bursal sac, ligaments, tendons or a bony anomaly.
Pathophysiology of Bunions
In most cases, hallux valgus defines a genetic condition that links to the foot structure. However, a few illnesses can also cause this condition. These include specific neurological diseases, abnormal bone structure, excessive flexible ligaments, and flat foot. Although numerous specialists place these factors into the “genetic” category, some of them believe that they may be the result of wearing poor-fitting shoes.
Most patients, who suffer from this condition, show a big toe deformity, which also affects the other toes. After a while, this condition starts affecting the middle joint of the toe, deforming the entire inner-superior part of the foot. This can lead to different complications, such as toe arthritis, altered motion, bursitis, and a lot discomfort especially when the person wears closed shoes.
Incidence, Risk Factors and Prognosis
Bunions usually affect mostly women than men. Additionally, they are caused by different factors that generally link to a genetic predisposition. The individuals, who are born with different feet abnormalities, are prone to developing this condition. Some other factors that can cause this illness include wearing narrow-toed footwear and high-heels. But when the bunion gets worse, it is becoming very painful.
The very first thing that a person should do once he or she observes the bump that characterizes this condition is to start protecting that toe. Protection includes wearing shoes that do not exert any pressure on the bunion. In case the bunion becomes really painful, the person can opt for surgery. However, the fact that surgery cannot solve this problem is a reality that anyone should know prior to opting for this procedure. Even after surgery, most people encounter different issues whenever they try to wear fashionable, tight shoes. Considering all these things, anyone can see that the prognosis concerning this disease is far from being auspicious.
A Few Important Facts about Bunions
Although bunion mainly affects the great toe and inner foot, it can also affect the little toe. Additionally, while some people suffer from severe symptoms, such as chronic pain, others have no symptoms at all. Unfortunately, most cases of bunions cause painful enlargement and reposition of the joint, which can only be treated with specific medications, foot support, altered footwear, and surgery.