The joint of your big toe carries a lot of weight, which can lead to a variety of common conditions, including bunions. At Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA, we can help diagnose your foot pain and treat your bunions before they turn into a more serious condition like arthritis. While bunions can be extremely painful, the good news is they can be prevented and are very manageable and sometimes reversible if you seek care at our office as soon as you notice the problem.
What Are Bunions?
Bunions are one of the most common causes of foot pain, especially in individuals who are on their feet all the time. They start as a large bump on the side of the foot near the big toe. Although you may only see a red bump along the side of your foot, there are typically changes to the anatomy of your foot. To properly diagnose the problem, our physicians will conduct a complete examination of your foot. An X-ray can also help identify the cause of the bunion and rate the severity of the condition. The type of treatment we recommend will depend on the cause and the amount of pain you are experiencing.
What Causes Bunions?
Bunions are caused by several different factors. To identify the cause, our team of specialists will ask questions concerning your family background, because bunions and an irregular foot shape are hereditary. We can also evaluate your shoes. Tight shoes that cramp your toes can cause bunions. Other conditions include inflammatory conditions like arthritis, and there are also adolescent bunions that tend to occur in girls between the ages of 10 and 15.
Treatment Suggestions For Bunions
- Bunions cause physical discomfort, a burning feeling, redness and swelling, possible numbness and sometimes difficulty walking. The goal of Dr. Clarke and Dr. Leonard is to alleviate and even eliminate the symptoms of your bunions through various treatment methods. Through our conservative treatment methods, like applying ice to the affected area, we can offer a variety of nonsurgical options. Some suggestions might include:
- Changing shoes. If you consistently wear tight shoes, we may suggest switching to more comfortable shoes that provide plenty of wiggle room for your toes to move freely.
- Padding and splinting. We can show you how to use over-the-counter bunion pads and tape to fasten the big toe back into the correct position to alleviate stress and pain.
- Medications. Pain medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can provide relief for a bunion. Our doctors may also suggest cortisone injections, which help relieve pain and inflammation at the side of the bump.
- Shoe inserts. We may also recommend padded shoe inserts that help distribute your weight evenly over the bottom of your foot to relieve symptoms and prevent your bunion from getting worse.
- Surgical options. Once you’ve tried the nonsurgical methods recommended by our doctors, we may recommend surgery as a last resort. Through surgery, we can remove the swollen tissue from around the big toe joint and straighten the toe by removing part of the bone or by realigning the bones to straighten out the abnormal angle. Our surgical options include the 3D Bunion Correction Lapiplasty procedure.
At Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central PA in Mechanicsburg, we offer a variety of diagnostic and treatment options for bunions. If you have any questions on what causes bunions and what we can do to help, contact us at (717) 620-8225 to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation.