Tony Wilkinson Consultant Podiatric Surgeon
Talks about Bunion Surgery at The Yorkshire Foot Hospital, Leeds
What exactly is a Bunion ?
The origin of the word comes from the early 18th Century, derived from the old French word buigne meaning “bump on the head ”.
A more modern meaning is “a painful swelling on the first joint of the big toe” (metatarsophalangeal joint).
The correct medical term for a bunion is Hallux valgus which describes the movement of the Hallux or“big toe” towards the second toe leading to a dislocation of this joint and giving rise to a bunion.
The same dislocation can also occur over the joint of the fifth toe forming a bunionette.
What Causes a Bunion? Are they Hereditary?
The answer is we don’t really know. Over the years there have been many research projects and schools of thought as to the exact causation of Bunions.
The image above shows the left foot of a mum of 32 years and the left foot of her 5 year old daughter.
What is clear is that both mum and daughter both have a left bunion deformity. If you look more closely you can see that both big toes lay underneath the second toe, the second toe lays over the third toe, the fourth toe lays underneath the third toe, and the fifth toe lays underneath the fourth toe. Both feet are broad at the front and all the lesser toes are retracted.
It is our opinion that the daughter has inherited her mothers’ foot type, meaning that certain foot types or shapes can predispose to certain mechanical dysfunctions e.g toe deformities and bunions.
It is widely documented that tight, narrow and high heeled shoes can cause bunions. I’m quite sure that this little 5 year old has not yet taken to wearing 6 inch stiletto heels, therefore one would assume that footwear will aggravate a pre-existing bunion deformity and may well contribute to the formation of one.
Footwear is therefore an aggravating factor to the predisposition of a bunion deformity not a cause.
What is clear from researchers is that certain foot types eg high arch feet, flat feet, hypermobile feet can all form bunions; therefore we can interpret that a bunion is a symptom caused by numerous complexities in foot types each having their own dysfunctional properties which can lead to the causation of a bunion.
Other contributory factors may include :
- Foetal inter-uterine position
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sporting activities
- Surfaces we walk on
At The Yorkshire Foot Hospital in Leeds, we tend to see a ratio of 3:1 women to men
What type of symptoms will you have with your bunions ?
– A swollen, bony bump on the outside edge of your foot.
– Pain and swelling over your big toe joint that’s made worse by pressure from wearing shoes.
– Hard, callused and red skin caused by your big toe and second toe overlapping.
– Sore skin over the top of the bunion.
– Changes to the shape of your foot, making it difficult to find shoes that fit.
Bunion Severity Scale
How we carefully select our Patients
Prior to considering surgical treatment for Bunion correction, we advise all our patients that once you have fully exhausted all non-surgical treatments and you still present with the following:
- Unable to wear footwear of your choice
- Unable to enjoy sports and other leisure activities
- Seeking good cosmetic appearance
If you satisfy these criteria we will be happy to offer you treatment at The Yorkshire Foot Hospital, Leeds.
Most successful Bunion Surgery procedure at The Yorkshire Foot Hospital, Leeds
Scarf Akin Osteotomy
Click on the video to watch
- Always carried out under local anaesthetic, reducing health risks compared with general anaesthesia.
- Bunion surgery generally takes 25 – 30 minutes to perform as an Outpatient procedure.
- Most cases DO NOT require walking casts.
- Reduced recovery time therefore patients usually back into a pair of trainers 2 weeks after surgery.
- Patients can usually return to work, sport and other leisure activities 6 weeks following their Bunion Surgery.
- Success rate of around 92%.