Bunion Care & Treatment in North Texas
A bony bump that forms on the joint at the bottom of the big toe is known as a Bunion. A bunion is the result of a structural problem of the bone of the foot and toes joint.
Some of the bones in the front part of the foot move out of place resulting in the improper alignment of the feet.
The exact cause of Bunion is unknown. However, there are many factors that lead to the development of the condition. These include:
- Foot deformity at birth
- Foot injuries or stress
- Hypermobility or having a big toe bone that moves more than normal.
- Having a low arch or uneven weight-bearing in the foot which makes the joint unstable(flat feet).
- Wearing tight, high-heeled, too-narrow, and ill-fitted shoes over a long time may lead to bunion.
- Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The major sign of bunion is a physical bump that forms at the base of your big toe and moves towards the direction of your small toes.
Other symptoms may include:
- Redness and irritation
- Numbness at your toe
- Pain and soreness
- Swelling at the joint of your big toe
- A burning sensation
- Thickened or hardened skin at the base of your big toe
- Reduction of motion
- Formation of corns or calluses at the affected toe
- A bulging bump at the affected toe
Diagnosis is done by examining the bunion and observing the affected area. Physical examinations and imaging tests such as X-rays may be done so that your doctor can ascertain the severity of the condition for the most appropriate treatment.
There are different treatment options that can be used to treat bunion depending on the severity. They include:
Home remedies – Home remedies are used when the condition is not severe to relieve pains and pressure. Home remedies include:
- Wearing comfortable shoes – Always wear shoes that are comfortable and provide enough space for your toes. Avoid wearing tight shoes.
- Shoe inserts and paddings – Get shoe inserts and paddings. Shoe inserts, also known as orthotics, help relieve pressure on the toe. They help to evenly distribute pressure on the foot when you are walking or running. There are over-the-counter, non-medicated inserts and paddings you can get for your shoes.
- Applying ice – Applying ice packs to the affected area helps to reduce pain and swelling. Do not apply ice directly to your skin, it should be wrapped in a damp towel.
- Medications – Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium can be used to relieve pain.
Injections – You can use cortisone injections if the pain and inflammation is severe.
You may need to need to undergo surgery if:
- You have a stiff toe and you are unable to bend or straighten it
- You are experiencing increased pain and inflammation that other conservative treatments cannot improve.
- Your toe is severely deformed.
- You are unable to comfortable wear shoes or walk without pain
There are different surgical procedures for bunions. You may need to undergo a single procedure or combination of different procedures depending on the severity of the condition.
Surgical procedures that may be done include:
- Osteotomy – This procedure is done to realign the toe joint. It involves cutting the bone and inserting wires and screws to keep the bones in line and remove excess bones.
- Tendons and Ligaments repair – This surgical procedure involves balancing the tendon and ligaments surrounding the big toe joints to straightening the big toe.
- Arthrodesis – The procedure is reserved for individuals with severe bunions, arthritis or may have had previous unsuccessful bunion surgery.
- Exostectomy – This procedure is done to remove the bump on the toe joint. It is often performed in combination with osteotomy.
- Resection arthroplasty – This procedure is done to remove the damaged part of the toe joint. It helps to provide more space between the toe bones.
- Total joint replacement- This procedure is done for arthritic joints to maintain motion of the toe joint.
Bunion can lead to different severe conditions and complications. Possible complications of bunions include:
- Bursitis – Bursitis is a condition that occurs when the small fluid-filled sac that cushions the bones near the joint on your toe is inflamed. The small fluid-filled sac is known as Bursa. The joints increase in size due to the bunion and may cause the bursa to get swollen and painful. It could damage the cartilage that covers the joint and lead to arthritis.
- Hammertoe – This is an abnormal bending in the middle joint of a toe. It usually affects the toe that is next to the big toe. A bunion can cause the middle joint of the second, third or fourth toe to bend. It occurs when the tendons and muscles are pushed out of their normal position.
- Arthritis- Arthritis can occur when the big toe joint is not in the proper alignment and may cause cartilage damage.
Bunion can be prevented by carefully choosing the type of shoes you wear. Always wear well-fitting shoes with a wide toe box that is comfortable.
Do not wear shoes that squeeze or cramp your toes and feet. Your shoes should align with the shape of your feet.