That is a question our Los Angeles patients ask often. The answer is both complex and simple. There are two basic reasons to correct bunions. First reason is pain. Second reason to correct bunions is to avoid secondary changes in the foot.
One of the most common complaints people have with bunions is pain. Understandably bunions hurt with activity, while standing, while wearing shoes, and even when feet are bare. Pain is the primary reason why patients seek our expertise and come to Foot and Ankle Institute for an evaluation of their bunions.
Bunions and second metatarsal stress syndrome
But there are people, perhaps like you, who have bunions, even very large bunions, who do not have pain. Should their bunions be corrected? The answer is yes, as long as the bunion is appropriate in size. The reason the bunion should be corrected has to do with secondary changes which occur in the foot when a bunion remains uncorrected for years.
While pain is a common reason for a patient to come to our office, the true medical reason for correcting bunions has to do with prevention of secondary changes that typically occur when bunions are left untreated.
Bunions Can Lead To:
The first secondary change is arthritis (joint damage) of the big toe joint. The damage results from wearing down of the cartilage in the joint, spur formation, and bone cyst formation. The changes in the joint are irreversible and one can only slow or stop the progression of these changes by correction of the misalignment of the big toe joint (bunion correction).
Patients often say, “How can I have arthritis, I don’t have pain?”
The answer is simple:
Arthritis damage does not always hurt. The goal of bunion correction is to stop joint degeneration and save cartilage from total destruction. That said, a person who already has a damaged joint still benefits from correction because the joint will be in its normal alignment.
The other secondary change that occurs due to uncorrected bunions is known as second metatarsal stress syndrome or cross-over toe syndrome. This is a problem with the second toe that develops when the second toe sticks up and moves over the big toe and at times crosses over it.
In addition to the crossing of the toe, pain in the ball of the foot will develop. This will feel like you are walking on a rock or lump in the ball of your foot. This condition is progressive and does get worse with time. However it can be corrected, and the unique procedure required is one of our specialties.
If you don’t have this problem, treatment of your bunion is the best way to prevent second metatarsal stress syndrome or cross-over toe syndrome from developing. From experience at the Foot and Ankle Institute we say that the best way to treat second metatarsal stress syndrome is to not develop it.
Because we have at least 10 different bunion corrections, the exact type of correction for your bunion is based on an evaluation of your bunion deformity. This takes place in our office during the complimentary exam.
Early diagnosis and treatment of bunions is key to prevention of more serious degenerative toe deformities and joint arthritis. Our initial exams are always free and our bunion correction procedures and expertise are second to none. If you have bunions or have had prior unsuccessful treatment give our office a call and schedule a complimentary evaluation.
Many patients reach out to us after unsuccessful treatment at other clinics. We can help you stay mobile, active, mobile, and pain-free.
* Each individual’s treatment and results will vary based on the circumstances, the patients’ specific situation, and goals.
844 West Glenoaks Boulevard.
Glendale, CA 91202