What are Bunions?
Bunions are bumps that develop at the base of the big toe joint. These bumps are bony growths that can become worse over time without treatment or self-care. When bunions fail to improve with self-care measures, surgery might be an option for patients to consider.
What are the Signs of a Bunion?
Bunions appear as bumps on the outer base of the big toe joint. The skin in this area can become swollen and red, and calluses can also form. The pain associated with bunions can occur as steady soreness, or it can come and go over time. Patients with pain that doesn’t go away, those with a large bump on the big toe joint, and those who have trouble moving their big toe should seek medical care for bunions. These growths are associated with certain complications, including bursitis and hammertoes.
What Causes Bunions?
The underlying cause of bunions isn’t fully understood, but there are some risk factors associated with these growths. Those with one or more of these risk factors have a higher chance of developing bunions. These risk factors include deformities in the affected area, trauma or injuries to the foot, and certain types of feet that are prone to bunions. For some patients, having rheumatoid arthritis can increase the risk of bunions. There is debate over whether certain kinds of shoes, such as tight-fitting shoes, lead to bunion growth.
How are Bunions Diagnosed?
Diagnosing bunions involves taking X-rays of the affected foot after doing a physical exam to evaluate it. X-rays show the bones of the feet in greater detail, which helps doctors determine how severe bunions are and what kinds of treatments might be needed for them.
How are Bunions Treated?
Mild bunions that don’t cause much pain are typically treated at home. This involves wearing looser shoes, wearing padded inserts in shoes, putting ice packs on the affected toe, taking over-the-counter medications, and splinting or taping the affected foot. Bunions that cause severe pain or ongoing pain might require surgical treatment. These procedures include removing the affected tissue near the big toe joint, removing part of the affected bone for a straighter big toe, and changing the position of the big toe and foot bones to straighten out the toe joint.
How Can You Prevent Bunions?
Patients can prevent bunions by wearing shoes that offer plenty of room instead of wearing tight shoes or high heels. This stops the big toe from bending in an unusual position inside shoes. Custom orthotics can also help slow the progression of bunion deformities.
If you have foot or ankle pain and would like a consultation. Make an appointment at Orange County Podiatry with Dr. Andrew Yang https://ocfootandankleclinic.com/appointments/ or call (949) 651-1202