Anatomy: Bunion is a bump at the side of the base of the big toe. It occurs in conjunction with the Big Toe being pushed toward the lesser toes (Hallux Valgus), usually in people with wide feet. The problem is entirely caused by shoes that are too narrow for the patient’s foot.
Diagnosis: The problem is obvious from simple observation. X-rays confirm deformity of the joint.
Treatment: While surgery is often performed, it is almost never necessary and the incidence of unsatisfactory results is relatively high. Simple stretching combined with wearing a light brace at night only will correct the deformity although it will take several months to achieve. It is critical however to wear wider shoes since the problem is entirely caused by too narrow shoes. New Balance gym shoes are often useful since, unlike many other brands, they make many models in wide widths, up to double or quadruple E and the salespeople at their dedicated stores are usually quite knowledgeable. Wide stylish dress shoes are harder to find but are available. It is important that the shoe not feel at all snug or tight from the time of purchase. There should be no period of “breaking in” of the shoe required, it should be immediately comfortable. If the patient is motivated and patient almost all bunyons can be satisfactorily treated without surgery.