Bunions and What Causes Them

Doctor treating patient for bunion on their footWith the upcoming Halloween holiday, this is the time of year for scary stories. For some (not all!) women, a scary story is not being able to wear fashionable footwear—like stylish pumps and stilettos—because of a bunion.

Now, Halloween is also a time when, on account of tricks (but not usually treats), it can be hard to tell what’s true and what isn’t. Well, it might not be true that women’s shoes cause bunions, but the condition is more likely to be found in female patients.

Let’s remove some of the mystery around why bunions develop, which will hopefully make the situation a little less frightening.

The five long bones in each foot are known as your metatarsal bones, and they run lengthwise to your toes. The bones in your toes are referred to as phalanges. Accordingly, the joints where these foot and toe bones meet are called metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints.

The MTP joint for your big toe is the place where this particular problem develops. An uneven distribution of pressure caused by various factors leads to instability in the joint and its supporting tendons. The result of this is a big toe that points inward, and the components of the joint are molded into a hard knob that protrudes beyond your foot’s natural shape.

Increased risk of this condition may simply be a matter of genetics and inherited foot structure. Abnormal biomechanics from a problematic foot type—particularly a flatfoot condition—can lead to the pressure necessary to create a bunion. Foot injuries, congenital deformities, and neuromuscular disorders are other potential root causes. Additionally, foot or ankle arthritis pain can force someone to alter the way he or she walks, thereby making it more likely for that person to develop a bunion.

It isn’t uncommon to wonder if kids can get bunions, given the frequent association between bunions and women’s footwear. But it is certainly possible for children to develop them. Early intervention and treatment is best in these cases (so as to prevent bigger problems later down the road).

When it comes to treating pediatric bunions, there are conservative measures we use to see if they sufficiently help with the problem. Surgery can be the best option for certain cases, but this is something we will discuss together.

As a general rule, it is often best to avoid surgical intervention for cases of pediatric bunions. In these cases, we may need to use conservative care until the foot has fully developed.

Bunions can affect individuals of all ages, but this doesn’t mean that you or your child have to live with the pain and irritation that often accompanies them. For the best pediatric bunion care in Houston, make your appointment with Houston Foot Specialists. Call us today at (713) 493-7372 or use our online form.
Categories: Foot Care