What are bunions?
When weight is unevenly distributed across the feet during walking undue pressure can destabilize the joint in the big toe. That pressure often leads to foot problems like bunions. Millions of people are bothered by them every year. Bunions can occur with the unnatural push of the big toe toward the other toes. In this position the toe is forced onto the first metatarsal bone (each foot has five) and the joint grows large and sticks out. A quick look at the foot may show that the big toe is resting on the next toe. Also, the outside of the big toe will have a large bump that looks like a swollen knuckle.
Causes of bunions include:
• Some experts believe tight, ill-fitting shoes that force the toes into an unnatural position cause bunions. Wearing pointed shoes regularly has been closely associated with bunions. This may be why bunions are more common among women.
• Heredity – Some people are genetically predisposed to bunions because of the inherited structure of their foot.
• Arthritis – particularly rheumatoid arthritis, which impacts gait.
• Injury – damage to the foot may impact the joints and lead to bunions.
The most pronounced symptom of bunions is pain. In some cases the pain is so severe that walking, or even wearing shoes, is uncomfortable. You may also experience redness, soreness or swelling. Calluses, corns and loss of flexibility in the feet are also symptoms.
How we can help:
Our fellowship-trained podiatrist will examine your feet to measure range of motion in the affected toe. The doctor may also x-ray your foot to determine the extent of the damage. Treatment options range from prescription or over the counter pain relievers to surgery. In most causes surgery isn’t required unless bunions are contributing to other foot problems or there has been no relief in spite of the treatment plan. Other options include shoe inserts, bunion pads, splints or cortisone injections. We may also recommend home remedies such as heat or ice packs as well as changes in footwear.
Because bunions occur on the joint of the foot walking is especially painful. Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia can work with you to develop a treatment plan so you’ll feel better and get back on your feet fast. Don’t let painful bunions keep you on the sidelines. Call today to schedule your consultation with our Atlanta podiatrist.