Painful bump on the side of your foot?
Do you find it difficult to fit into shoes? Do you have a bump on the inside of your foot at the base of your big toe? If the answer is yes, you’re experiencing a bunion. This deformity of the foot presses uncomfortably on the insides of shoes, causing the surrounding skin to become sore or callused. Bunions can cause a significant amount of pain – strong enough to keep you from walking or participating in activities that you once enjoyed.
What are bunions?
A bunion is an abnormal bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your toe. The signs and symptoms are:
- Bulging bump on the outside of your bog toe
- Swelling and redness around the big toe joint
- Thickening of the skin at the base of your big toe
- Persistent or intermittent pain
- Limited movement in the big toe
- Corns or calluses, usually form where the first and second toes overlap
What causes bunions?
Bunions are formed when your big toe pushes up against your other toes. It forces the big toe joint in the opposite direction, away from the normal profile of your foot. Over time this abnormal positioning causes the joint to become enlarged, causing more crowding and joint pain.
For some, bunions are hereditary, meaning that the predisposition for their occurrence has been passed down from their parents or grandparents. However, many bunions also have to do with footwear. High-heels or ill-fitting shoes are common culprits. The angle of heels forces toes down into a narrow toe box, causing them to squeeze together. This results in uneven pressure placed on the big toe joint, which eventually causes the joint to morph into an abnormal, hard bump.
Bunions can also be caused by:
1) Inflammatory arthritis
2) Foot injuries
3) Flat feet or low arches
4) Jobs that put extra stress on your feet
What can the doctor do for me?
There are conservative and surgical treatment options for the relief of pain caused by bunions. The best person to evaluate which option is best for you is a podiatrist. Many treatment options are determined by the severity of your pain.
One type of conservative treatment is a bunion pad. Bunion pads work to alleviate pain by cushioning the bunion so it doesn’t rub against your shoes. Wearing orthotics in your shoes in another option for some. The uneven pressure that causes bunions is distributed more evenly when wearing orthotics that support your whole foot. These conservative methods can help to reduce pain and prevent the bunion from worsening.
Once you have been properly evaluated by Lawrence Kales DPM, he will be able to determine whether conservative or surgical methods are best for you. Some of the most severe bunions may require a bunionectomy, which is a surgical procedure that repairs the toe joint, aligning it correctly. However, surgery is always treated as a last option.
To prevent surgical methods of treatment, it’s important that you seek help for any pain or discomfort due to a bunion as soon as possible. If you catch it early enough, you can drastically improve your condition through conservative measures such as wearing wider shoes or inserts.
One of the most common denominators among people suffering with bunions is that they wish they had sought help sooner. You don’t have to live another day frustrated with your pain. Set up an appointment with Lawrence Kales DPM. It is his passion to keep his patients happy, healthy, and on their feet! Call his Hudson office at (727) 868-2128 or his Spring Hill office at (352) 683-5799 or schedule an appointment online today!