The Foot Issues that Lead to Teen Bunions

Mar 23, 2015

Teens love spring break. It’s time off from school and a chance to escape to somewhere warmer, or at least to hang out with friends. Hamden schools still have a little time before their break, but you can bet teens are thinking about it now! This is especially true if your teen has a bunion. No teen wants to be embarrassed by unsightly bumps, or deal with this kind of forefoot pain, when they’re supposed to be enjoying break. Unfortunately, bunions in teens develop more often than some people think.

This forefoot deformity looks the same in teens as it does in adults. A bump develops at the base of the big toe that can worsen with time and stress. It’s the result of the big toe becoming slightly dislocated from its position and leaning toward its neighbors. The metatarsal it’s attached to tilts away from the other bones as well. The joint where the two meet then bulges outward and makes that bump.

In teens, this deformity generally develops in feet with biomechanical weaknesses. Typically, the arches are too flat and the foot overpronates when your teen walks or runs. This creates excessive motion in the bones, allowing them to shift out of their normal position. The extra pressure on the forefoot from an inefficient, low arch only encourages the problem to worsen.

Of course, other factors can contribute to bunions in teens. Shoes are one of the biggest culprits for young people who already have feet that are prone to the problem. Footwear that is too flat and doesn’t support the arches can allow the foot to overpronate and stress the forefoot. Fashion shoes with pointed toe boxes squish the big toe against its neighbors, making it easier to slide out of position. High heels put excessive pressure on the ball of the foot, which can make the problem much worse.

Bunions in teens are not worse than those in adults, and they can still be treated using conservative methods. The key is to take care of the problem before it grows too painful.

Schedule an appointment with us by calling either of our two area offices.