Bunions are misaligned big toe joints that can become swollen and tender. They can cause the first joint of the big toe to slant outward and the second joint to angle toward the other toes. You may experience pain in the joints, stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and reddening.
If you're suffering from bunions, contact Dr Daniel Zahari for a consultation and discuss surgical options to get relief.
Do You Suffer From Bunions, Corns, or Calluses?
Corns and calluses are protective layers of dead and compacted skin cells. They’re caused by frequent friction from skin rubbing against bony areas or against an irregularity in a shoe. Corns typically form on the toes and calluses develop on the soles of the feet.
A bunion is a bone abnormality that is caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions will form when the toe moves out of place. The swelling causes friction and pressure as they rub against footwear. The movement of the big toe over time will angle in toward the other toes, sometimes overlapping a third toe (known as Hallux Valgus). The growing protuberance then causes more irritation and inflammation. The big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists in some cases, which is known as Hallux Abducto Valgus. Bunions can potentially lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe.
Some who suffer from bunions experience discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction of the enlargement against shoes. The skin over the toe becomes red and tender. Since this joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets the more it will hurt to walk. Over time, bursitis or arthritis can set in, the skin on the bottom of the foot can become thicker, and everyday walking may become more difficult—all contributing to chronic pain.
Shoes that are too tight are the leading cause of bunions. Although not hereditary, bunions tend to run in families, usually because of a defective foot structure. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, flat feet, and pronated feet can contribute to bunions. It’s estimated that 33% of the population in Western countries develop bunions.
Treatment for Bunions
Bunions do not resolve by themselves because they are bone deformities. The goal for bunion treatment is to relieve the pressure and pain caused by irritations and to stop any progressive growth.
Common methods for reducing pressure and pain caused by bunions include:
Protective padding that is often made from felt material is used to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems
Remove corns and calluses on the foot
Switching to properly fitted footwear that is designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth
Orthotic devices (both over-the-counter and custom made) help to stabilize the joint and place the foot in the right position for walking and standing
Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis
Splints for nighttime wear help the toes and joints to align properly. This method is often recommended for adolescents with bunions since their bone development may still be adaptable
Depending on the extent of the misalignment of the toe, the size of enlargement, and pain experienced, traditional treatments may not be adequate to prevent progressive damage from bunions. For these cases, bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, might be suggested to remove the bunion and realign the toe.
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Dr Daniel Zahari
14535 Northline Rd
Southgate, MI 48195
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