Bunions can make walking or simply wearing shoes painful and difficult. The best way to prevent a bunion from becoming a serious problem is to treat it early on with the help of expert podiatrist Shermi Parikh, DPM, and the team at Family Foot and Ankle Center in Niles and Berwyn, Illinois. They can help you adapt to bunions, including with custom-made orthotics, and perform surgery to correct advanced bunions as needed. If you notice a bony bump at the base of your big toe, don’t ignore it. Schedule an appointment online or by phone today.
Bunion Q & A
What are bunions?
A bunion is a painful, bony bump at the base of your big toe. The area around a bunion may be red, swollen, and sore.
Bunions grow slowly. If your big toe points inward instead of straight ahead, pressing against your second toe, the alignment of the bones in your foot may start to change. In response, your big toe joint sticks out, causing a bony bump to form.
Bunions are more than just a cosmetic issue, so you should schedule an appointment at Family Foot and Ankle Center if you notice one forming, even if it’s not painful. If left untreated, the deformity can get worse and significantly change the structure of your foot. Advanced bunions are very painful and interfere with walking and wearing shoes.
What causes bunions?
Your shoes usually play at least some role in bunions. If your shoes don’t leave enough room for your toes, you’re at risk of developing bunions.
Bunions affect women more than men, in part because of popular women’s fashion shoe styles with narrow, pointy toes, such as stilettos and high heels. However, anyone can develop bunions, and any shoes that are too tight can be the culprit.
Foot structure can also play a role in bunion formation. If you have flat feet, or your big toe naturally points inward rather than straight ahead, you’re more likely to develop bunions.
How are bunions treated?
As soon as you notice a bunion, you should seek treatment. Don’t wait until it’s causing you pain. In fact, the earlier you treat a bunion, the better, as that’s when conservative measures are most effective.
Just as improper footwear is a cause of bunions, proper footwear is a central part of treatment. Your doctor can fit you for custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, that improve the alignment of your toes, support your feet, and relieve pressure. It’s important to wear orthotics in comfortable, properly fitting shoes that leave plenty of room for your toes.
If you have swelling and inflammation, your doctor may recommend icing the area and taking over-the-counter pain medication. These symptoms usually improve once you start wearing appropriate footwear.
Your bunion may require surgery if:
- Your pain doesn’t improve with conservative treatment
- You have trouble walking and performing everyday activities
- Your big toe has become deformed
Surgery corrects the alignment of your toes and helps relieve your pain.
Call Family Foot and Ankle Center or schedule an appointment online today if you have a bunion.