Foot deformities are quite common, with bunions being one of the most commonly occurring problems. In the United States, roughly one in three people have bunions, with women more likely to suffer from them than men.
Bunions can be painful and make it difficult to wear certain types of shoes. If you have a bunion, you may be wondering what caused it and whether or not there is anything you can do to treat it. Here’s all you need to know about this big toe bump.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a deformity of the big toe. The big toe bends towards the second toe, causing a big lump to form on the joint where the big toe and foot meet. Bunions can happen on both feet at the same time, or only occur on one foot.
It is possible to get a bunion on your pinky toes, but that is less common and is called Tailor’s bunion or bunionette.
Symptoms of Bunions
The most obvious symptom of a bunion is the big lump that forms on the side of the big toe. The big toe may also appear to be bent or crooked, pointing towards the other toes and bunching them together.
You may also experience redness, swelling, and soreness around the big toe joint. Calluses or corns on the big toe joint may also develop. Some people also experience stiffness and pain in the big toe joint.
In some cases, because the big toe is bunching against the other toes, and if shoes with small toe boxes are continually worn, some people will develop hammertoes. All these reasons show why it is important to get bunions treated quickly rather than wait, so that other foot problems do not start to show up.
Like most toe deformities, bunions have a variety of causes. One of the most common causes is the instability of the big toe joint. This can be caused by several factors, including injury, arthritis, or deformities present at birth.
Another common cause of bunions is the environment that the foot is exposed to. If you frequently wear shoes that are tight or constrictive, you may be more likely to develop a bunion. Shoes that don’t provide adequate support can also contribute to the development of bunions.
Finally, bunions tend to run in families. If you have relatives with bunions, you may be more likely to develop them as well.
How to Treat Bunions
If you have bunions, there are a few things you can do to relieve pain and discomfort. One of the most important things you can do is to wear roomy, comfortable shoes. Avoid shoes that are tight or constrictive, especially in the toe box area of the shoes. You may also want to use bunion pads to cushion the big toe joint and relieve pressure.
If you’re in pain, over-the-counter pain medications can help. If your symptoms are severe, you need to come and see our podiatrist for more aggressive bunion treatment.
Dr. Elenburg will examine your bunion(s) and see how severe they are. If the bunion is small and relatively new, the easier it is to treat. Dr. Elenburg might even recommend just wearing a bunion splint at night and that you do not need bunion surgery.
However, the bigger and more severe the bunion, the more extensive the bunion treatment. The great news is that Dr. Elenburg is an expert on both lapiplasty bunion surgery and miniBunion surgery procedures. He will go over both procedures with you and answer any questions you might have to determine which is the best option for your bunion treatment.
Don’t Let Bunions Keep You Down!
Bunions can be the source of ongoing pain and discomfort. But with the right treatment, you can keep them under control and enjoy your life. If you start to notice a bunion forming, give us a call because the sooner you get a bunion examined and treated, the easier the treatment will be.
If you’re experiencing pain or swelling in your big toe joint, contact us at the Foot and Ankle Center of Oklahoma today. We’ll help you find the right treatment to get you back on your feet within no time.
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