Bunions are one of the most common foot disorders treated by Dr. Kalin. In fact, bunions are one of the most common disorders treated by most podiatrists across the country. More than half the women in America have bunions, a common deformity often blamed on wearing tight, narrow shoes. Bunions cause the base of your big toe (Metatarsophalangeal Joint) to enlarge and protrude. The skin over it may be red and tender. This can be acquired through time or it can be congenital (you got it from your family).
Wearing any type of shoe may be painful when you have a bunion. The joint involved flexes with every step you take. The bigger your bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Bursitis (inflammation) may also set in. Your big toe may angle towards your second toe, or even move all the way under or over it. The skin on the bottom of your foot may also become thicker and painful.
Pressure from your big toe may force your second toe out of alignment, sometimes causing it to overlap your third toe. If your bunion gets too severe, it may cause difficulty in walking. Your pain may become chronic and you may develop arthritis.
Most bunions can be treated conservatively with wider & softer shoes, pads to relieve the pressure and/or medications. If this does not help then surgical treatment is indicated.
Bunion surgery, or bunionectomy, realigns the bone, ligaments, tendons and nerves so your big toe can be brought back to its correct position and the bump on the inside of the joint removed. Many bunion surgeries are performed on a same-day basis (no hospital stays) using a local anesthesia. During your recovery it is common to have pain and swelling. This swelling and stiffness may be persistent for several months.
A bunion occurs when the joint at the base of your big toe becomes enlarged, sore and swollen. Your big toe may start to angle toward your second toe, or move underneath it. Women are most affected by bunions, which are often caused by wearing narrow, tight shoes, or high heels. A bunionette occurs on the other side of the foot, near your small toe, and is much smaller than a bunion.
A podiatrist can usually diagnose a bunion during a physical exam. An X-ray may provide further information about the joint, the angle of the toe, and if arthritis or gout are concerns to further investigate.
Wearing comfortable shoes with a wide toe-box at the first signs of a bunion appearing can decrease its growth and reduce any further complications. Resting the foot, using anti-inflammatory medications and icing the area may help. In some cases a cortisone shot at the base of the big toe may help. In cases when the bunion is causing severe pain, surgery may be performed to remove the bony bump and to realign the toe.
Ignoring a bunion will lead to increased pain and the chance of contracting bursitis, when the small fluid-filled sac next to the joint becomes inflamed. Depending on how severe your bunion is, your foot can become deformed and continue to cause chronic pain.