Many different types of bone-and-joint deformities can develop in the feet. They are usually caused by a combination of family genetics and the patient’s gait pattern throughout life. These deformities can start off subtly, but can eventually become painful, unsightly, limit daily activities, and greatly restrict shoe choice. If the patient waits until the issue is severe, it’s difficult to treat the foot deformity without reconstructive foot surgery. As a doctor would tell you, the goal of the surgery is primarily to remove pain and disability. Preventative care is still the best treatment.
Podiatrists can offer you nonsurgical management with tailored advice, ergonomic shoes, orthotic insoles and other modalities. Avoiding foot surgery is possible.
Bunion pain can occur at any of the above stages. Even if the bunion is painless, it impairs the biomechanical function of the entire lower extremity. Women who experience arch pain, ankle pain, and knee pain may not realize that it’s related to their bunions. After years of neglect, bunions can lead to the need for knee surgery.