If you’ve noticed a bump on the outside of your foot, you may have developed a bunion. A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe. Your big toe joint becomes enlarged, forcing the toe to crowd against your other toes. This puts pressure on your big toe joint, pushing it outward beyond the normal profile of your foot, which can be painful. Bunions can also occur on the joint of your little toe.
Bunions start off small and painless, but this does not mean they should be left ignored. Bunions will only get worse over time and can to lead to many other issues including pain and growth which can lead to barely being able to fit into your shoe.
Some symptoms of bunions are chronic foot pain, discomfort when walking, swelling, redness, tenderness at the site of the bunion, and thickened skin on the bottom of the affected area.
Bunions can be treated in a variety of ways:
- Apply ice
- Rest the area and avoid motions that apply pressure to the affected joint
- Wear loose-fitting, non-constricting footwear that does not put pressure on the bunion
- Insert orthotics into footwear to provide stability and correct positioning
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications on a temporary basis for pain and inflammation (ask your doctor first)
- Stretch the area with specific exercises to keep the joint mobile
- Receive a cortisone injection to reduce joint inflammation
- Remove corns or calluses
- Have a bunionectomy, or surgery to remove the bunion and realign the toe, if necessary
Untreated bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe. Arthritis and bursitis may also develop in the joint area. Wearing properly fitting, supportive footwear or custom orthotics is a good way to prevent or slow down bunions. If you think you may have a bunion seeking early medical attention is your best bet. If this described your condition you are in luck! Cornerstone Foot & Ankle offers a variety of treatments to get you back on your feet. Call now or request your appointment online!