What is a Bunion New York City

What Is A Bunion?
A bunion is boney prominence at the base of the big toe, located on the inside of the foot. The medical term for bunion is hallux abductovalgus. A bunion is NOT a growth of bone, rather is the bulging of the underlying displaced big toe joint beneath the skin.

What Are Bunion Symptoms?

The most common bunion symptoms is pain directly on the bunion region. The pain may be located on the ‘bump’, within the big toe joint and/or on the bottom of the foot. The bunion may become inflamed, red, warm and swollen. Thickened skin and calluses may even form. Bunion pain is variable and could range from dull and minimal to sharp and extreme. Some bunions just don’t hurt.

Pain is often made worse by shoes, especially shoes that crowd the toes. While some bunions may result in significant pain, other bunions may not be painful at all. High heels shoes tend to put more pressure on the bunion area and may result in pain.

Bunion with text: redness, pain, swelling, calluses

What Are Bunion Sizes?

Bunions come in all sizes – mild, moderate, large and severe. Bunion size doesn’t particularly correlate with pain. Often the big toe will push against the second toe, resulting in pain and a hammer toe. Severe bunions can progress onto a disfiguring foot deformity.

Dr. Blitz’ Bunion Severity Scale

Causes Of Bunions?

Half the time genetics are the cause of bunions. Shoes are the other culprit in bunion occurrence. High heels and tight pointy shoes that crowd the toes promote bunion formation. Bunions typically develop slowly over time and hit a point where they worsen rapidly. Some develop a bunion in their teens, whereas other develop them much later in life. See Causes of Bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Bunion are diagnosed with a clinical exam (performed by a healthcare practitioner) and with the aid of radiographs. X-rays are the cornerstone of bunion evaluation because they demonstrate the boney position as well as rule out other conditions that may masquerade as a bunion. It’s important to have standing X-rays of the foot to see the bone position with full weight because the position changes when a load is applied.

How Are Bunions Graded?

In general, the severity of the bunion is determined by a radiographic measurement called the intermetatarsal angle (or metatarsal angle). An angle is created between the 1st metatarsal bone and the 2nd metatarsal bone. The wider the angle the worse the bunion.

Metatarsal Angle

Normal: 0-8 degrees
Mild: 9-12 degrees
Moderate: 13-15 degrees
Large: 16-18 degrees
Severe: 18+ degrees.

Sometimes the metatarsal angle may be misleading if all the bones are angulated, and this falsely lowers the angle making the bunion appear less severe. It’s important to account for this when evaluating bunion radiographs.

How Does Bunion Severity Determine The Type of Bunion Surgery Needed?

The severity of the bunion dictates what surgery will be necessary to fix the bunion. Larger bunions generally require a different surgery than smaller bunions. The type of surgery also determines the postoperative recovery and ability to bear weight – through modern techniques have change even that.

Dr. Blitz is able to allow his bunion surgery patients to walk on the operated foot immediately after surgery without casts or crutches because of the patent device that he developed. Learn more about the Contours Lapidus Plating System.

Dr. Neal Blitz | Foot & Ankle Surgery
NEW YORK  800A 5th Ave., 4th Floor | New York, NY 10022
BEVERLY HILLS  435 N. Roxbury Dr., PH | Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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