Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? How’d that make you feel? Pretty lousy, huh? Well it’s time someone said something about the horrible wives’ tale that shoes cause bunions. I’m just going to put it out there…Shoes do not cause bunions!!! Never have and never will. There I’ve said it so let’s get on with it.
A bunion is a bump or knob on the side of your foot at the base of the big toe. Look at your foot. Find your big toenail and work your way down toward your foot. When you get past the area where your big toe meets your foot look for a bump. If you see is a lump on the inside of your foot then you have a bunion. Most often your big toe is leaning toward your second toe and in extreme cases can move under or over the second toe. The word “bunion” is derived from Italian or Scandinavian, and refers to a knob or bump.
The question remains, how did that knob get there? The bunion is not a “growth” of bone, but rather a bone that is not in the right position. The bone behind your big toe is your 1st metatarsal. The bump is actually the 1st metatarsal that has moved away from the 2nd metatarsal. Why does this happen? Well, the true cause is still debated, but basically something has happened to your foot to cause the 1st metatarsal to move out from the line of your toe. At a certain point the metatarsal has moved so far that you begin to see a bump and eventually your big toe moves toward the second toe. The knob that is your first metatarsal can be painful, but most often the joint that is out of alignment is the true source of pain.
Shoes are not the cause! Think about this…if your foot is unstable (pronated) and you wear a heel, you have just forced your foot to supinate or in other words become more stable. If the shoe makes your foot more stable how could it cause the bunion? Now in all honesty the narrow toe of a women’s dress shoe applies more pressure on the bunion and there is more weight on the ball of your foot when wearing heels so the bunion may become painful sooner because of the shoe. Still it was not the shoe that caused, but rather it was the shoe that brought it to your attention.
At Desert Foot Surgeons a detailed exam of your bunion is performed to find the cause of your unstable foot. Remember what I say, “It is easier to change your shoes than to change your foot”. Still many times surgery is needed to correct the bunion. Does this mean you can go back to heels with pointy toes? The answer is maybe. I can’t be more specific because everyone’s feet are different and your ability to heal differs from everyone else as well. Desert Foot Surgeons has introduced “personalized foot care”, meaning we discuss your wants and desires related to what medical science says is the best treatment option and together we arrive at a plan to get you the best result possible.
Stop blaming your shoes for your bunion, it’s not their fault. Actually the shoe has brought the problem to your attention sooner than a tennis shoe would have so you can get treatment earlier, which is always better. See, shoes really are a girls best friend…or is that diamonds? I’m a podiatrist, I get that mixed up sometimes.