A bunion is a bony bump at the base of the big toe that causes it to lean toward the other toes.
The joint where your big toe joins your foot becomes swollen, which throws the foot bones out of alignment and produces the characteristic bump at the joint’s base.
Bunions tend to come in pairs. In other words, if you have a bunion on your left foot, you'll probably also have one on your right foot.
A common myth about bunions is that they're caused by wearing high heels or other shoes that exert pressure on the outside of your big toe. While ill-fitting shoes can certainly make bunions worse, bunions are mostly hereditary. If your parents have bunions, you stand a good chance of having them, too.
Symptoms of bunions tend to increase over time as the condition worsens. Typical symptoms include:
Deformity of the big toe joint
Growth of a bony lump (exostosis) at the side of the big toe joint
Pain, redness and tissue swelling (bursitis) over the big toe joint, with thickening of overlying skin
Pain when walking (particularly during the "push off" phase)
Overlapping of the big toe above or below the second toe in severe cases.
People with bunions may be concerned about the changing appearance of their feet, but it is usually the pain caused by the condition that leads them to consult their doctor.
If pain persists, podiatric medical attention should be sought. Bunions tend to get larger and more painful if left untreated, making non-surgical treatment less of an option.
Our podiatrist will evaluate any symptoms experienced, and examine the affected foot for joint enlargement, tissue swelling and/or tenderness.
When you arrive at our clinic, we’ll start with a thorough assessment of your feet, including digital X-rays of the affected area. The doctor will also assess any risk factors for the condition, and will ask about family history.
An x-ray of the foot is usually recommended so that the alignment of the big toe joint can be assessed. This would also allow any other conditions that may be affecting the joint, such as arthritis, to be seen.
X-rays of a classic bunion typically reveal abnormal positioning of the first metatarsal bone, and sometimes extra bone growth in that area.
Once we have a clear picture of what’s going on inside your foot, we’ll develop a treatment plan to get you back on your feet quickly.
A range of treatments is available for bunions, including:
Orthotics, such as insoles, bunion pads and toe spacers
Most bunions can be treated conservatively by providing you with wider & softer shoes, gel bunion sleeves to relieve the pressure, and/or medications. If these remedies don’t help, then a ‘bunionectomy’ or surgical removal of the bunion may be necessary.
There are several viable treatment options available for bunions. Contact us today at (561) 123-1234 to begin the process of freeing yourself from the pain that comes with this condition.