Ready to Deal with Your Bunion?
At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, we often see an increase in the fall of patients interested in getting medical help for their bunions. Why? During summer months when women are wearing open shoes or going barefoot, a bunion may be naturally relieved of pressure from footwear. Once the temperatures start to go down, however, pumps and closed-toe shoes can make pain from a bunion more excruciating than ever.
Bunions are a progressive condition, meaning they will only get worse over time if left untreated. As the big toe joint moves out of place (causing the telltale bump on the side of your foot) it pushes up against your second toe. This causes pain and sometimes secondary conditions like corns and calluses. Bunions are a biomechanical problem that can have several sources:
Long hours in shoes with high heels or narrow toe boxes that force toes downward and squeeze them together
Overuse due to work that keeps you on your feet all day
In addition to pain, you may notice swelling and redness around the big toe joint and a decrease in your ability to bend the big toe.
It’s best to seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms of a bunion. Our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, will start by examining your foot and toe and getting a complete medical history. X-rays may also be ordered to better assess the condition of the toe joint and to use for monitoring your condition.
Conservative treatment avenues include bunion pads to help cushion the bunion and keep it from rubbing against your shoes. Switching to wide width shoes may also help. The podiatrist may prescribe a custom orthotic that can help redistribute pressure to relieve bunions and slow their progression. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can also be recommended.
As a last resort, the foot doctor may recommend surgery, called a bunionectomy, to repair the toe joint and align it properly to eliminate the bunion.