What is a bunion?
A “bunion” is the bump on the inner side of the big toe joint. Some may consider this a “cosmetic” issue, but it is a major structural problem of the forefoot. A bunion continues to get worse with every step taken. Unfortunately, external measures such as arch supports or foot orthotics are not proven to slow or reverse them from getting bigger. Surprisingly, many people have their bunions return after “corrective” surgery. Why would a bunion return after it has been surgically repaired? That’s because the underlying cause of the bunion was not fixed.
Why do bunions develop?
A bunion develops because of an underlying mechanical instability issue. This “issue” is present at birth and just like any other disease of the body, it will never go away on its own without physical intervention.
There are other very important factors that must be taken into consideration – HINDFOOT INSTABILITY!
Most on-line searches will say that bunions are created from wearing high-heel shoes. That isn’t completely true.
The underlying first metatarsal bone instability has to be present first – you either have an unstable or stable metatarsal bone. The same is true with ankle bone instability – you either have it or you don’t. If you have it, it will progressively get worse because every step you take places excessive force on the displaced and weakened first metatarsal bone.
Bunions are the result of a dynamic, orthopedic deformity. The importance of the word dynamic cannot be understated. Every step taken on this mechanically imbalanced foot is one step closer to a bigger and bigger bunion deformity.
A closer look at the partially dislocating ankle bone
The image below shows the normal alignment of the ankle bone on the heel bone. There is a naturally occurring space between the large joint surface on the back of the heel and the two smaller ones on the front. That space is called the sinus tarsi.
Partial dislocation of the ankle bone shifts the weightbearing forces forward and inward. This further weakens the base of the metatarsal bones and allows it to be pushed away from its normal alignment.
Why are bunions a “bad” thing?
Bunions are not a life-threatening condition but they can severely affect your quality of life. Having pain with every step you take, being limited in the shoes you can wear, having to wear ugly big, wide shoes can also lead to psychological damage. Plus, there is also the fear of someday requiring surgery that has been described as “one of the worst events of my life!” All of that is true, but there is an even greater concern that is much worse than the bunion itself – that’s the underlying orthopedic disease process of the partially dislocating ankle bone.
The bunion deformity is only one symptom of ankle bone dislocation. There could be many other parts of the body that are also being destroyed as a result of ankle bone instability. Back to why bunions are a bad thing. Stress fractures of the thin, skinny, weak 2nd metatarsal bone can occur when the thick, strong first metatarsal bone is pushed out of alignment. People can get pain under the ball of their foot. Also, many people can lose feeling in their feet and develop an ulcer over the bunion which could lead to bone infection and the need to partially amputate the forefoot. Yikes.
What is the best form of treatment for bunions?
Address the underlying cause with HyProCure
There are many surgical procedures for bunions, but they will be unsuccessful unless the hindfoot is stabilized. Your foot surgeon will know if you are a candidate for the HyProCure stent. In milder forms of bunions, it is possible to only need hindfoot stabilization with HyProCure, rather than having complex bunion surgery.
There are many other orthopedic conditions that are linked to a partially dislocating ankle bone. It is possible that those conditions could also be helped by internally stabilizing your hindfoot.
HyProCure® is a titanium stent that is placed in the natural space between the joint surfaces of the ankle and heel bones. Instantly, the stability and alignment of the ankle bone will have a positive healing effect to first metatarsal bone stability and alignment.
HyProCure realigns and stabilizes the hindfoot while allowing a natural range of motion. It is simply pushed into the naturally occurring space between the ankle and heel bones. Unlike external devices, such as arch supports, HyProCure is proven to normalize ankle bone alignment. The use of HyProCure in the treatment of bunions is essential for long-term success.