If you have a painful bump on the joint of your big toe, you may have what is called a bunion. Bunions are caused when your big toe pushes against the next toe causing the big toe joint to develop a bump.
Causal factors for a bunion include:
- High-heeled shoes – pushes the foot forward and crunches the toes
- Footwear with a tight toe area – deforms and puts undue stress on the toes and toe joints
- Inherited foot structure – helps contribute to the misalignment of the toes
- Arthritis – allows for distortions and inflammation of joints
Symptoms of a bunion include:
- Swelling, redness and soreness – in the big toe and joint
- Corns or calluses – found where the toes meet
- Bump – found on the outside of the big toe joint
- Stiffness – the toe cannot bend
There are a series of treatments for a bunion, but your podiatrist is especially trained to determine what is best for you. Not properly treating a bunion can cause bursitis, hammertoe and metatarsalgia.
Treatments for a bunion include:
- New more properly fitting shoes – footwear with plenty of space near the toes
- Gel filled pads – cushion the affected area
- Warm soaks – can help relieve some pain
- Ice – apply for 15 minutes on and off for pain and a reduction of swelling
- Ultrasound treatments – can treat the enflamed area
- Custom orthotics – made by your podiatrist, they offer much needed support
- Steroid injections – can relieve pain, but is usually a short-term treatment
- Pain relieving medicine – acetaminophen or others, but use only as directed
- Lapiplasty 3D surgery – The most advanced treatment of bunions to date
If you believe you have or are developing a bunion or have any other concerns about your feet, make an appointment with us at Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA. Our doctors Terry H. Clarke and Karen M. Leonard will diagnose you and treat you appropriately. We are located at 4 Flowers Drive, Suite 2, Mechanicsburg, PA, 17050. Our phone number is 717-620-8225.