Posts for tag: bunions
A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.
A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.
The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:
- Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
- Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
- Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
- Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
- Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
- Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition
For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.
When should someone consider bunion surgery?
As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:
- Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
- Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
- You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
- Your bunion is affecting your quality of life
It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.
Do you know why you have bunions and what you can do to relieve your pain? Foot doctors provide a variety of treatment options for the common foot condition. In addition to treating bunions, the podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise, Nampa/Caldwell, and Meridan, ID, offer skilled care for a variety of foot and ankle conditions.
Why do I have a bunion?
Bunions can be caused by:
- Shoe Choices: Tight shoes and high heels increase pressure on the joints of your feet. If you wear these types of shoes often, the joint at the base of your big toe may eventually become misaligned, resulting in bunions.
- Genetics: You may be more likely to develop bunions in someone else in your family has them. Although bunions themselves aren't inherited, you can inherit a foot imbalance that increases your risk of developing bunions.
- Arthritis: People who have rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or osteoarthritis are also at increased risk of developing bunions.
- Foot Abnormalities: High arches, low arches, excessive pronation, or any condition that affects the structure or alignment of your foot can raise your chance of bunions.
- Uneven Leg Length: Is one of your legs a little longer than the other? Leg length discrepancies can cause gait problems, which may be a factor in the development of bunions.
- Lifestyle Factors: Jobs or hobbies that require long hours on your feet can up your bunion risk.
How are bunions treated?
Bunion treatment is aimed at reducing pain and slowing the progression of your bunion. Over-the-counter pain relievers and wearing wider shoes can be helpful in easing pain. If you have corns and calluses, apply adhesive pads to reduce friction on your toes and feet. Your Boise, Nampa/Caldwell or Meridan, ID, podiatrist can offer other treatment options and strategies, including night splints, orthotics, and cortisone injections for pain. When pain is severe, or your bunions interfere with your daily activities, bunion removal surgery may be recommended.
Ease your bunion pain with a visit to the foot doctor. Schedule an appointment with the podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates by calling (208) 327-0627 for the Boise, ID, office, (208) 463-1660 for the Nampa/Caldwell, ID, office, or (208) 888-9876 for the Meridan, ID, office.
What is a Bunion?
What Causes Bunions?
How a Podiatrist Can Help
Prevention is Key
A painful, sore, red bump on at the base of your big toe--it's most likely a bunion, a common deformity of the foot. Your Nampa, Meridian and Boise, ID, podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates see plenty of these annoying and sometimes debilitating foot problems. They offer treatment options that make sense for you, your lifestyle and yes, your unique feet. What can your foot doctor do for you?
Why people get bunions
Most commonly, you'll develop a bony prominence at the metatarsophalangeal joint because:
- You are a middle-aged female (men and children get them less often)
- You wear shoes that are too tight, have high heels or a narrow toe box
- You are overweight
- Your family members also have bunions
- You overpronate your feet
- Flat arches have plagued you for years.
- You walk and stand on your feet a lot throughout the day
Besides the obvious disfigurement, bunions make the big toe turn in toward the second toe and sometimes, the second toe toward the third and so on. Hammertoes also develop as can thick corns and calluses.
What you can do about bunions
Padding and moleskin relieve the friction between the shoe and toe joint. Stretching exercises help alleviate arthritis associated with the joint. Unfortunately, though, most home remedies do not help more extensive bunions. That's where your podiatrist in Nampa, Meridian and Boise comes in.
They will perform a complete foot exam, including X-rays. The doctor may recommend at-home treatments as needed, but also may prescribe:
- A change in footwear (the American Podiatric Association says low-heeled shoes with a wide toe box are best)
- Shoe inserts, or custom-made orthotics to cushion the foot and to correct problems with gait
- Splints worn at night
Bunionectomy is a specialized surgery which should be performed by a board-certified foot surgeon such as those at Idaho Foot. The procedure often involves reshaping the metatarsalphalangeal joint and re-aligning the connective tissue in the toe. More extensive treatments include fusing or pinning the toe joint or even inserting an implant.
Do you have a bunion?
Find out for sure, and get some relief for your discomfort. Contact Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates for an appointment with one of our caring doctors. In Boise, call (208) 327-0627. In Nampa, phone (208) 463-1660, and in Meredian, call (208) 888-9876.