Question:I really hate how my right foot looks. For some reason, I've developed a bunion along the outside of my baby toe. Can they do anything to surgically correct this problem?
Answer:You are describing a bunionette deformity. These can be very painful for some people. They don't bother others. And many don't like how they look and have them removed.
Before doing surgery, most surgeons will suggest a more conservative approach. Wider shoes, orthotics, toe spacers, and padding can help relieve the pressure and reduce the inflammation. Up to one-quarter of affected people aren't helped by nonsurgical treatment. They really need surgery to take care of the problem.
There is a wide range of operations that can be done. Most of these procedures fall into one of two groups. The first is exostectomy, which just means to remove the bone. The second is an osteotomy. In this operation, a wedge-shaped piece of bone is removed and the two ends of remaining bone are moved together to close up the gap.
The surgeon decides which type of operation to perform based on several factors. The location and severity of the deformity makes a difference. X-rays are taken to help identify angles and measures important in planning the operation. If there are any other deformities in the foot, these must be addressed as well.Bruce E. Cohen, MD, and Christopher W. Nicholson, MD. Bunionette Deformity. In Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. May 2007. Vol. 15. No. 5. Pp. 300-307.
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