What to do about bunions? • Atlas General Hospital

What to do about bunions?


People who have problems with bunions are thrilled with the summer when they can wear open shoes. As autumn arrives  this problem becomes much more unpleasant.

A guest at the National TV, specialist in orthopedics with traumatology of Atlas General Hospital – Dr. Jovo Stojsavljević talked about the problem of the bunions, the method of treatment and the period of recovery after the operation of this problem.


What is the real cause of bunions? 

Cause of bunions is first of all excessive load in non natural position. Inherited elements also influence bunions phenomenon, especially in women, because it is 15 times more common in women than in men. Wearing high heels influence the soft structures of joints inside the foot, not only muscles but fascia, tendons, ligaments become more loose and thus the front part of foot are widened and flattened. In the same time the arches of foot are lowered and also longitudinal arch of the foot. When the arch of the foot is flattened, then metatarsal bones are widened which brings coupling of adductor musculature of a thumb to dragging fingers toward each other.

There are exercises that should help strengthening of the musculature so the walk can be as normal as possible, high heel should be avoided, but there are no real healing. There are only temporary aids, like orthosis or plastic or silicon separators which separate fingers but all those things are temporary.

Is operation of bunions the only permanent cure?

When bunion is already formed then the only permanent solution is operation. All other methods and aids that one can find on the internet, newspapers and entertainment magazines are only temporary aids which can eventually ease the pain for short time (several months maybe a year), but it can not cure bunions. There are insoles that can help by lifting medial arch of the foot; one can use personalized insoles for best results. It can be done for each foot individually, so metatarsal bone can be lifted. Insoles lift that part of the foot so the support can be brought back to physiological points, and the results can be more durable.

Postoperative course 

When the operated bone is operated  the way it is done osteotomy (with bone resection), rehabilitation lasts for 2 months approximately. For six weeks the patient can not use the foot until it is completely healed, and the period is approximately six weeks. When we add time for rehabilitation, there are two months when patient can not function properly.

What is the perfect height to wear heels?

For men it is 3 cm, and and for women is is 4 cm.

The fact is that we wear flat shoes in summer. How flat shoes can have influence on bunions? 

It is better to wear insoles that are personalized which don’t have reinforced metatarsal pads, but insoles have to be made for each foot individually. Each foot no metter on points of support have some special configurationwhich is supported by insole thus preventing forming of some further deformities.

Are patients operations- postponers right when it come to bunions? 

Bunions that are operated on time have less chance of recurrence and possibility that bunions are returned.  If the patient with severe bunion deformity wants to be operated, there are chance that the deformity is reduced if not completely removed. That percentage is around 15 %  so the best solution is that operation of bunions should be planned and done in short period of time.