Although bunions are a common toe deformity at Gentle Professional Foot Care we find that there is much misinformation circulating about them. Bunions are a progressive condition. A defect in the structure of the foot (which is often genetic) causes the big toe to move out of place and lean toward the second toe. This creates a misalignment of the bones and eventually results in the telltale bump on the outside of the big toe. Over time, the bunion can become red and inflamed and patients experience pain, burning and irritation due to the friction and pressure that occurs from shoes. Sometimes corns or calluses will also form.
The sooner you seek treatment for a bunion the better. Our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, will start by examining your foot and will also get a medical history from you. The foot doctor may also order an x-ray to see how far the bunion has progressed and to measure future movement. The goal of treatment in the early stages of this disorder is to bring pain relief and slow the progression of the deformity. The podiatrist may recommend one or more of the following:
· Change your shoes—although shoes don’t cause bunions they can greatly irritate them. High heels and shoes with narrow toe boxes are to be avoided. Choose styles made of soft materials with lots of room up front.
· Reduce pain and inflammation—icing and anti-inflammatory medications (and sometimes corticosteroid injections) can all help with the discomfort caused by bunions.
· Add some padding—putting padding over the bunion can help protect the area and prevent further irritation.
· Take the pressure off—custom orthotics are another option that may be used to change the position of the foot and shift pressure away from the problem area.
Although you may not be able to put off surgery for a bunion indefinitely, your podiatrist can help you achieve greater comfort now and enable you to continue with your active lifestyle. If you have a bunion (regardless of whether or not it is causing you pain), contact at our Venice office today by calling: 941-493-7999.