Bunion

From Academic Kids

In medicine, a bunion is a painful deformity of the bones and the joint between the foot and the big toe (the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint). Bunions develop via long-term irritation (inflammation) from arthritis, poorly-fitting shoes, and heredity, any of which can cause this joint at the base of the big toe to thicken and enlarge. This causes the bones of the big toe to angle in toward the second toe, and leads to an often painful lump of bone which forms at the outside-edge base of the big toe. Those with flat feet and low arches are prone to developing bunions, as well as those in professions which place excessive stress on the feet, such as ballet dancers.

Most bunions are treatable without surgery, and foot specialists emphasize that prevention is always best. To minimize the chance of developing a bunion, choose shoes that accommodate the shape of your feet; many bunions are caused by ill-fitting shoes, which may be short, tight, or sharply pointed. As well, avoid high-heeled shoes, a major contributor to the development of bunions. If you are developing a bunion, wear shoes that are roomy enough to not put pressure on it, which should help with a large amount of the pain associated with a bunion. Shoes can be stretched professionally, and you can also try adding protective padding to cushion the area, such as a non-medicated bunion pad which fits around the bony lump. If bunions are left untreated, they can lead to the risk of serious infection.

Surgery, while an effective intervention for the treatment of bunions, usually requires a 3 to 6 week recovery period during which crutches are usually required for aid in mobility.

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