Lee’s Summit Podiatrist Dr. Joel Foster Debunks 6 Myths About Bunions on the Feet

bunions on the feet | Lee's Summit PodiatristOften misunderstood and frequently overlooked, bunions are a reflection of underlying structural changes in the foot. If a bunion is keeping you from wearing your favorite shoes or doing the activities you love, Lee’s Summit podiatrist Dr. Joel Foster can provide the treatment you need to get back to making the most of each day.

Myth #1: Bunions Are Purely a Cosmetic Issue

While many people are self-conscious about the appearance of bunions on their feet, it's a misconception that they are solely a cosmetic problem. A bunion can cause significant physical discomfort, including pain and soreness, particularly when wearing shoes or engaging in activities that place stress on the affected foot. The misalignment of the toe joint can lead to difficulties in walking and a reduced range of motion in the affected toe. Additionally, as a bunion progresses, it can lead to secondary issues such as bursitis, hammer toes, and arthritis in the affected joint.

Myth #2: Only Older People Get Bunions

While the incidence of bunions on the feet does increase with age, bunions can develop in younger individuals as well. The development of bunions at a younger age is often related to inherited structural foot characteristics. 

The assumption that bunions are exclusively an older person's problem can lead to a delay in seeking treatment or implementing preventive measures. Early intervention can be crucial in managing the condition and preventing further progression. 

Myth #3: High Heels and Tight Shoes Are the Only Cause of Bunions

The belief that bunions are solely caused by wearing high heels or tight shoes is an oversimplification. While ill-fitting footwear can exacerbate the development of bunions on the feet, it is not the only cause. The primary factor in bunion formation is genetic predisposition. If someone has a family history of bunions, they are more likely to develop them regardless of their choice of footwear. That said, the role of footwear should not be completely discounted. Shoes that are too narrow, tight, or have a high heel can place extra pressure on the toes and can worsen an existing bunion or speed up its development. If you already have a bunion, wearing shoes with a wide toe box, low heel, and adequate support can help alleviate the pressure and reduce pain. 

Myth #4: Bunions Can Be Treated With Home Remedies 

There's a misconception that bunions can be completely treated or cured through home remedies. While certain practices and home treatments can help alleviate the symptoms associated with bunions, such as pain and inflammation, they do not correct the underlying structural deformity. 

Home remedies commonly include the use of bunion pads, toe spacers, and exercises to maintain joint mobility and strength. These measures can be effective in providing relief and slowing the progression of the bunion, but should not be seen as a definitive cure.

Myth #5: Bunion Surgery Is Extremely Painful and Requires a Long Recovery

The perception of bunion surgery as a highly painful procedure with a lengthy recovery period is outdated, thanks largely to advances in surgical techniques and post-operative care. Minimally invasive bunion surgery is less painful and has a quicker recovery than the old-school procedures you may have heard about from your parents or grandparents. Minimally invasive techniques also use smaller incisions, so you will be able to wear your favorite open-toed shoes with confidence. 

Dr. Foster performs bunion corrections either in the office or through an outpatient surgical center. In some cases, he may also suggest incorporating HyProCure either prior to or following the bunion correction. The role of the HyProCure titanium stent is to reinforce the sinus tarsi cavity, preventing it from collapsing and thereby preserving a more robust overall structure of the foot.

Myth #6: Fixing a Bunion Is Expensive

If you don’t have health insurance, or you have a high-deductible plan, it’s understandable to be concerned about the cost of bunion surgery. However, Dr. Foster’s office makes podiatry care affordable by using a direct-pay model. We have a price list posted online, so you can budget with confidence. 

If you’re happy with your insurance provider, we can provide 1500 forms so that you can submit a claim on your own. Additionally, our office continues to accept payments from HSA and FSA funds. 

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