The burden of bunions

foot-for-web

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Up to 60 percent of older adults have a foot disorder, which could limit their ability to get around.

A bunion is one of the most common foot disorders. It’s that bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. For many people bunions are hereditary, but for others the problem can occur because of years of ill-fitting or shapes of shoes. Whatever the cause, it’s a painful condition for several reasons.

“Well because of the deformity, it starts to make the foot wider, that’s number one so that makes for a lot of shoe gearing problems . Then the big toe, when it starts to push on the smaller toes. It can cause those toes to draw up and become hammer toes. So again, you get wider foot, you get a very thicker foot which then makes all sorts of shoe-gearing problems,” said Dr. Michael  Schreck, a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle of West Georgia.

To help reduce your risk of a bunion, health experts make the following suggestions:

  • Wear roomy shoes that have wide and deep toe boxes (the area that surrounds the toes), low or flat heels, and good arch supports. Avoid tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes that put pressure on the big toe joint.

Foot Problems: Finding the Right Shoes

Preventing too much rolling inward of the foot (excessive pronation) during walking or running may help prevent bunions. Excessive foot pronation has been linked to bunion formation. You may be able to prevent excessive pronation by wearing supportive shoes or using arch supports. If you still have excessive pronation, your doctor may suggest that you have custom orthotic shoe inserts made for you.

Note: The two patients featured in the video portion are not patients of Dr. Schreck. Their surgeries were performed by Dr. Troy Espiritu. Dr. Schreck’s comments were about bunion surgeries in general.

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