Nigella Lawson has painful bunionsCelebrity chef Nigella Lawson, known as the "Domestic
Goddess", is paying the price for wearing her stiletto heels in the kitchen. A recent photo captured a sizeable bunion on her feet. Such extreme bunions make it difficult to comfortably wear shoes and is a sign of an instability of the feet, which serve as the base of support for your body.

A bunion is a prominence of bone at the base of the great toe. Because of mechanical instabliltiy, the bone rotates out of position and causes the prominent bunion to form. Bunions become painful in two ways. The prominence that forms makes wearing stylish shoes very difficult. The pressure from the shoe against the bunion causes it to become red, swollen, inflamed, and painful. The bunion joint also becomes painful from the pressure in the joint itself. As the bone rotates, the joint is no longer aligned properly and that increases the pressure and can even cause the joint to break down and become arthritic.

If the formation of a bunion is caught early, its progression can be managed with conservative means. Slight pressure on the prominence of the bunion can be managed with a bunion pad. The mechanical instability can be managed and balanced with custom orthotics. These special-made insoles can redistribute the pressures that cause the bunion deformity and slow or prevent the bunion from becoming worse.

In situations such as Nigella Lawson's, where the bunion appears to be significantly developed, progressed, and painful, bunion surgery may be the only option. Surgery entails surgically fracturing the rotated bone and repositioning it in good alignment. It, requires several weeks of recover and would be several months before she is back in the stilettos heels that she loves so much.

Such is the price one pays for fashion.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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