Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I keep getting bunions?"
I've had to have two bunionectomy surgeries in the last two years. Why do I continue to get bunions? Is there any way to prevent them?
Bunions, as you know, are painful outcroppings of bone that develops on the outer edge of the big toe. If they are large they cause the big toe to push inward, and they can cause significant problems of pain and redness of the overlying the skin because of rubbing against the shoes. Most of the time, bunions are caused by wearing tight shoes. If this is the problem in your case, wearing properly fitting shoes should help correct the problem and prevent it from recurring. Taping or splinting the big toe, which is something your podiatrist can do for you might help in the meantime. Other causes of bunions include a genetic tendency to them (mostly based on your inherited foot anatomy) or weakness of the foot muscles, which can occur with some inherited nerve problems in the feet. I suspect that if you have already switched to comfortable, roomy shoes, then you fall into one of these two categories, and you will be at high risk of having the bunions recur multiple times, even with bunionectomy. In this case, I would recommend talking to your podiatrist to see if there are any additional interventions that you could potentially try.