Bunions Break into the News

January has brought news stories across the country about a condition that affects people everywhere, including here in Columbus: bunions. Young people being treated for bunions has been prominently featured in the Wall Street Journal’s Health section last week, famed English celebrity chef Nigella Lawson announced she underwent two surgeries for a bunion on each foot and earlier this month a new padded device called the Bunion Bootie published online tutorials on its use.

Bunions are a bony prominence that develops on the middle side of the big toe at the metatarsophalangeal joint. This exostosis, or extra growth of bone, can become irritated by rubbing on shoe gear, or the bone itself can irritate nerves in its proximity causing pain. The removal of this bony growth is typically the first step the surgical treatment of a bunion, but other foot deformities that are major contributors to the painful deformity must also be addressed. The deviation of the big toe, or hallux towards the lesser toes, combined with the movement of the metatarsal bone at the base of the big toe away from the metatarsal creates the deformity known as hallux abducto valgus. A number of surgical options exist to correct hallux valgus and most include a cut in the metatarsal. A number of the surgical options, selected based on the severity of the deformity, exist and were discussed in last week’s Wall Street Journal article.

Other possible factors contributing to the development of hallux valgus and thus pain must be considered when selecting a treatment plan. Other biomechanical deformities that contribute to hallux valgus development include overpronation and what is known as a flexible plantarflexed first ray. In this first ray deformity, the foot compensates by moving the metatarsal bone at the base of the big toe upwards, increasing the chance for hallux abducto valgus to develop. These two deformities can be addressed using custom orthotics to help treat and slow the progression of a bunion. At Columbus Podiatry & Surgery, a state of the art foot scanner is used to quickly and comfortably create orthotics that will be a perfect match to correct biomechanical problems in the foot. Diseases that can affect the entire body also can contribute to the development of a bunion. Some of such conditions can include: rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy and gout.

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

Columbus Podiatry & Surgery has opened a new location in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.

If you would like to be seen by our podiatrists in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-859-3338 (FEET) for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia