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Cheryl from Singapore asked a question

Is surgery the only way to get rid of a bunion? (photo)

I’m a 23 years old female and recently, I noticed a bunion on my left foot. I’m not sure if it’s a result of the bunion, but my big toe hurts whenever I walk in ballerina flats (or any shoes in that shape, including onitsuka tiger walking shoes). I realised that my left foot starts hurting around 10 minutes after I start skating (in-line and ice) too. I’m a casual skater (around twice a month) and I have been skating for around 7 years now. Is there any way for the bunion to go away on its own without surgery? My toes appear dark in the pictures because of the shadows from the bad lighting! Regards Cheryl
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)
Dr Sean Ng
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Singapore
(3 Ratings)
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Dr Sean Ng
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Singapore
(3 Ratings)
Answered on Sun Feb 25 2018 06:26:48 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Hi Cheryl,

Thank you for your question. It’s something I get asked very frequently. Unfortunately, the answer would be a big emphatic yes.
 
90% of bunions are genetic (do see your mother’s, grandma’s, sisters or female cousins feet).
 
Most people would try things like strapping, toe spacers etc. All these will not work in the end, and the deformity reverts once they are removed.
 
Bunions usually progress with time, and left untreated, they will start affecting the adjacent toes, gait, and cause generalised foot pain or deformity. 
 

Your bunion looks like it is suitable for keyhole/ percutaneous/ minimally invasive surgery (MIS) correction.

You will still need a proper examination of your foot, and some X-rays. The advantages of keyhole surgery include less pain, less bleeding and risk of infection, and a much more acceptable cosmetic appearance. Hope this answers your question!

Best regards,

Dr Sean Ng 

1 239 views 0 Doctors agree Sun Feb 25 2018 06:26:48 GMT+0000 (UTC)
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Dr Henry Chan
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Singapore
(2 Ratings)
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Dr Henry Chan
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Singapore
(2 Ratings)
Answered on Tue Feb 27 2018 08:48:44 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Hi Cheryl,

Thank you for your question, you do have mild to moderate hallux valgus and bunion on the left, and we will have to perform X rays and examination to fully evaluate the severity of your hallux valgus.

The pain that you are experiencing is mainly due to the excessive pressure over the "protruded" part of the left foot from the skating shoes. You might want to customise a pair of the inline skates and ice skates so that the shoes is more conforming, and the material is softer to reduce the pain.

I agreed with Dr. Sean Ng that if you want to make the bunion and hallux valgus "go away", surgery is the only option. However, if you feel that it's not giving too much problem in your daily activities, you can try out hallux valgus splints, which may be able to slow down the progression. You should also avoid high heels shoes and tight shoes which will further worsen the pain and the deformity. Hope this clear some doubts for you!

Cheers,

Dr. Henry Chan

0 203 views 0 Doctors agree Tue Feb 27 2018 08:48:44 GMT+0000 (UTC)
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Dr Dinesh Sirisena
Sport Medicine
Singapore
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Dr Dinesh Sirisena
Sport Medicine
Singapore
Answered on Tue Feb 27 2018 12:44:49 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Dear Cheryl,

Continuing on from the answers from Dr Sean and Dr Henry, I just wanted to add that it might be worthwhile seeing a podiatrist - perhaps one with experience in sports such as yours! They will be able to customise the insoles for you and perhaps offload the bunion.  Correct footwear is a must - although this does not often stop the bunion from coming on, it can make walking much more bearable.

As Dr Sean and Dr Henry mention, the only way to correct this is surgery, but as with most things, if you can manage it conservatively for the present time, doing that is perfectly fine. Sometimes, if there is significant swelling, redness or pain around the joint, you can consider a cortisone injection.

Hope this adds to your options.

BW

Dr Dinesh

0 198 views 0 Doctors agree Tue Feb 27 2018 12:44:49 GMT+0000 (UTC)
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