Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle
Podiatry, Foot & Ankle Surgeon and Wound Care Specialist located in Yarmouth, ME
Bunions look like a simple bump on your foot, but they’re actually a complex foot deformity. At Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle, in Yarmouth, Maine, experienced podiatric surgeon Barry White, DPM, specializes in an innovative approach to bunion surgery called Lapiplasty®. This surgery treats bunions by correcting the foot deformity where it starts, which then allows the rest of your foot to resume normal healthy alignment. Book your appointment online or call the office to schedule a Lapiplasty consultation.
What are bunions?
A bunion is a foot deformity that causes a significant bump on the side of your foot. Bunions occur when the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the bottom of your big toe pushes out from the side of your toe.
As the MTP joint progressively moves out of position, the bony bump grows bigger and your toe tilts towards the other toes. In severe cases, the big toe even overlaps the next toe.
Bunions can be quite uncomfortable and even very painful. They generally grow larger over time, so it’s best to treat them early before they potentially cause disability.
What kind of symptoms do bunions cause?
Bunions are much more than a large bony bump. They can cause quite a few different issues, such as:
- Soreness or pain
- Raw red skin
- Calluses or corns on your MTP joint
- Calluses where your big toe overlaps your next one
The discomfort associated with your bunions can be particularly pronounced when you wear tight-fitting shoes or high heels.
What causes bunions?
Bunions aren’t just about the MTP joint misalignment. They actually start within your midfoot, in a bone called the first metatarsal. The end of the first metatarsal meets the first proximal phalanx bone (at the bottom of your big toe) to form the MTP joint.
When your first metatarsal bone rotates slightly out of position, it eventually leads to problems in the MTP joint, where the bunion develops.
The exact cause of this bone deviation is still uncertain, but experts believe that your inherited foot type most likely plays a major role. Your foot mechanics (your walking patterns) can also contribute.
Wearing high heels and standing for prolonged periods may worsen a bunion, but they’re not the underlying cause.
How are bunions treated?
Bunion treatment depends on what your goals are and how pronounced your bunion is. If you have a mild bunion that’s not causing any symptoms, Dr. White may recommend conservative care like custom orthotics, splinting, padding, and taping. These measures can help to deter further growth but don’t correct the bunion itself.
If you need surgery, Dr. White recommends a procedure called Lapiplasty. This procedure uses cutting-edge technology to restore your foot alignment, starting from the source of the bunion.
While traditional bunion surgery only corrects the issue in the MTP joint, Lapiplasty actually repairs the true cause of your bunion.
During Lapiplasty, Dr. White not only corrects foot alignment but also permanently secures your foot bones in the proper position using advanced internal hardware. This offers you a long-term bunion solution.
After Lapiplasty, you'll be weight-bearing in a matter of days, and you'll be able to walk up to six to eight weeks before you would with traditional bunion surgery.
To learn more about correcting bunions, hammertoe, and other foot deformities, call Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle or click on the online scheduling link today.