How to treat bunions and flat feet
It is very difficult to prove what aggravates bunions or how they become symptomatic. Surgery will only usually be performed if it becomes too painful for normal footwear.
A bunion or 'hallux valgus' occurs when the big toe turns in to face the second toe. In this case, the edge of the foot (where the big toe joint is) seems to form a bump. The two main causes are family heritage and tight shoes. Bunions occur more frequently in women due to type of footwear which can be uncomfortable even though fashionable.
Normally, you can take pressure of the bunion by wearing a wider shoe, pads to protect the bunion or inserts that separate the first and second toe. Not all bunions are painful, but if there is too much discomfort or the swelling becomes too big, surgery may be required.
Women may suffer from this condition more than men due to the type of shoes they somewhere which doesn't allow the feet to rest in a natural position.
Surgery for Bunions
There are hundreds of surgical techniques for this problem. In general, the surgery consists of 'filing' protruding bone, cutting the bone or improving the alignment (osteotomy) and soft tissue release pads to re-balance the big toe joint. The type of surgery depends on the presence of arthritis in the joint, symptoms, size of the deformity and the patient's age.
Surgery is not recommended in adolescents unless the pain persists after nonsurgical treatments. If younger people undergo surgery, especially before they are fully developed, there are more chances of recurrence.
The main difference between adolescent and adult bunions is that children, most are congenital in origin, while adult bunions can be degenerative.
Flat feet tend to differ by age. For children, flat feet are very common and rarely abnormal. Many children under six years years old seem to have flat feet because fat tissue fills the footbridge. Fallen arches in children are asymptomatic and do not usually require treatment. Orthopedic shoes, physical therapy and templates have little effect on young children, however adolescents and older children with painful flat feet should consider orthopedic treatment.
Acquired flatfeet in adulthood may need early treatment, so the problem does not get worse. This occurs when the posterior tibial tendon (located in the ankle and responsible for providing arch support) is broken or weakened, resulting in a progressive collapse of the arch. Causes include age, traumatic or systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Even though, initially this problem is not painful, if it progresses, you may experience pain on the outside of the ankle, knee or lower back, plus difficulty walking or climbing stairs.The more you ignore the condition, the more complicated the surgery becomes, so it is very important to recognize it at an early stage.
The first treatment is usually physical therapy, and to be advised on comfortable shoes with special insoles to relieve the inflamed tendon strain or injury. Fashionable shoes may have to be left at home for a while during the healing process.
If these nonsurgical methods don't work, then surgery will be considered as the next option. The type of surgery depends on the severity of the condition and location of symptoms. It may be a tendon transfer. Additional procedures may also be required such as arthrodesis (fusion) of the affected joints or an osteotomy of the calcaneus (heel bone). None of these procedures are performed for cosmetic reasons, it is more as pain management.
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