Many believe that bunions are the problem of the elderly or of women who wear very tight shoes. But every day we see both men and women of all ages in our waiting room looking for relief from the pain of bunions. Causes and Symptoms A bunion results from years of abnormal pressure on the big toe joint caused by your gait, shoe choice, arthritis, injury or even your genetic foot type. When the bone or tissue of the big toe moves out of place and extends beyond the normal curvature of the toe, a bump or bunion forms on the joint. The big toe will push against the next toe and crowd the others.
Diagnosis and Treatment We will carefully examine your foot and toes and determine if range of motion is impacted. An x-ray will show the severity of the bunion and help identify its cause. Our first treatment choices are conservative, in other words those that are non-invasive. Change shoes. Choose comfortable shoes with plenty of space in the toe box and at the ball of the foot. Avoid high heels which place excessive pressure on toe joints. Taping and padding. We will use padding and tape to reduce pain and stress on the bunion.
Medications. Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce inflammation, and along with acetaminophen can help alleviate pain. Injections. Cortisone injections can also lessen swelling and pain. Shoe inserts. Padded inserts reduce symptoms by redistributing pressure evenly and can prevent your bunion from getting worse. Icing. Applying ice can relieve soreness and inflammation. When to Consider Surgery If conservative treatments fail to resolve your pain, and your ability to walk or enjoy normal activities is limited, it’s time to discuss a surgical solution for your bunion. The goal of bunion surgery is to return your toe to the correct position to relieve discomfort. Each situation is unique and there are many surgical techniques. We will discuss the options with you based on your specific needs. Visit our Office for a Consultation If you suffer from a bunion, make an appointment to see us. Our treatment recommendations will begin with the most conservative approach. Remember – a bunion will not get better on its own, and delaying treatment may cause it to get worse.