Do you have trouble finding shoes that fit because the front of your foot has become too wide? Do you ever feel pain in your big toe joint or on the ball of your foot? You may have a bunion.
A bunion is known as a hallux valgus deformity, which is more or less a large bump on the side of the big toe. This bump is caused by the misalignment of the bones causing the big toe, the hallux, to point toward the other toes. Bunions are a progressive disorder, and the misalignment is usually followed by arthritic changes within the joint causing pain and discomfort.
Although bunions tend to run in families, it is the foot type that is passed down not the bunion. In other words, our parent’s problematic food type can make us prone to developing bunions. They’re a symptom of faulty foot development usually caused by the way we walk, our shoes or other sources of pressure. Both men and women suffer from bunions, but they’re more common in females – usually because they wear high heels with a tapered toe area. The abnormal motions and pressure exerted on and within the foot cause these bone and joint deformities. Because of the progressive nature of this affliction, a bunion left untreated can lead to enough pain and disability to make walking difficult. It could even require surgery.
– Pain, throbbing, redness
– Stiffness of the big toe joint
– Bump on the side of the big toe
– Turning of the big toe toward the second toe
In the early stages, nonsurgical bunion treatments are often the best approach. If you want to avoid surgery, it’s imperative to identify the deformity early in its development. The moment you feel pain or discomfort, consult a podiatrist. Left untreated, bunions will grow and get even more painful, making nonsurgical bunions treatment less of an option.
There are some good techniques you can use to slow the deformity and minimize pain. Start by wearing shoes with a wider toe area. Or get yourself some custom shoe inserts known as orthotic devices to reposition the foot inside your shoe to decrease pressure. You can also pad the bunion and/or tape your foot to keep it in a normal position. To treat pain and inflammation, we can prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or provide cortisone injections. For a more active bunions treatment, physical therapy techniques like ultrasound therapy can treat bunions and associated soft tissue issues.
If you’re experiencing pain on a regular basis, or if your normal physical activity has been affected, we may have to consider surgery. Many surgical procedures are available to remove the bone protrusion, restore toe joint alignment and relieve pain. Bunionectomy, the removal of the bone protrusion, may be used for less severe cases. But severe bunions may require the more invasive procedure of cutting the bone and realigning the joint.
Serving all your foot and ankle concerns, Family Foot & Ankle Center of Central Jersey provides comprehensive care for infants, children, teenagers, adults, and seniors.
Please call today for an appointment (732) 851-1617.
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