Posts for tag: Bunions
With the ability to cause nagging discomfort throughout the day and prohibit daily movements as simple as walking, bunions can quickly turn from a barely noticeable bump on your toe, to a painful deformity that detracts from your over wellbeing. Fortunately, if caught early, you can prevent this podiatric issue from developing into a serious problem. Read on to learn if you could be suffering from this condition, and whether you should take a visit to your local podiatrist.
Signs That You May Have a Bunion
Generally forming on the side of your big toe, bunions are hard, bony lumps that are often caused by wearing poorly-fitted shoes (especially high heels), having genetic predispositions, or experiencing a foot injury. If you think that you may have a bunion, be on the lookout for these symptoms:
- A bony protrusion at the base of your toe
- A generally red discoloration
- A feeling of tightness in previously comfortable shoes
The above-listed symptoms describe the beginning stages of a bunion, a point during which your podiatrist will likely recommend a conservative approach to treatment. However, you may require more extensive medical care if you begin to notice these signs:
- Persistent pain and swelling
- Periodic numbness of the foot
- Restricted and slowed movement of the toe/foot
For less serious bunion cases, ones in which there isn’t pain yet and movement is still unrestricted, your podiatrist may recommend:
- Soaking your foot in warm water
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Aspirin
- Wearing appropriate shoe inserts
- Avoiding tight-fitting footwear
In severe bunion cases, your podiatrist will likely recommend a more rigorous treatment approach in order to alleviate pain and increase mobility. Some of these options include:
- Custom-made orthotics to maintain toe alignment
- Regular physical therapy and a specialized exercise regiment
- Bunionectomy, a surgery to remove the bunion and realign the foot (this is only necessary in the most extreme of cases)
Concerned? Contact Us
If you feel that bunions are disrupting your life, then take the pro-active approach and schedule an appointment at our office to learn how to regain your health.
A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.
A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.
The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:
- Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
- Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
- Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
- Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
- Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
- Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition
For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.
When should someone consider bunion surgery?
As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:
- Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
- Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
- You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
- Your bunion is affecting your quality of life
It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.
Learn about some of the most effective ways to get your bunion pain under control.
Has one of the podiatrists at our Reading, MA, office recently told you that the foot pain you’re experiencing is due to a bunion? A bunion is a common deformity that often affects the joint at the base of the big toe, causing it to protrude. Here’s what you can do to manage your bunion symptoms!
How can I treat my bunion?
Caring for your bunion is actually quite simple. In fact, unless you are dealing with severe pain and discomfort, minor and occasional bunion symptoms can often be addressed and reduced with simple at-home care. Common lifestyle modifications and at-home care include,
- Wearing supportive and properly fitted shoes that don’t put pressure on the bunions or bunch up the toes (also avoid high heels and shoes with a pointed toe)
- Placing a non-medicated bunion pad over the bunion prior to wearing shoes to prevent a callus from forming
- Wearing custom orthotics in your shoes to redistribute the weight evenly on the foot, thus reducing pressure from being placed on the deformed joint
- Icing the bunion for 10-15 minutes at a time to reduce pain and swelling
- Taking over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen to temporarily alleviate inflammation and discomfort
- Performing stretches and foot exercises that could help strengthen the ligaments, muscles, and tissues around the joint
- Wearing a brace or splint at night to realign the joint to reduce morning pain and stiffness
If you don’t notice any changes in your symptoms after at-home care, then it’s time to visit our Reading office to speak with an expert. Sometimes prescription medications, steroid injections, and other treatment options may be recommended to manage your bunion symptoms.
When is it time to consider bunion surgery?
Bunion surgery is usually the very last resort and only recommended when all other treatment options and lifestyle changes have not been successful. Surgery is usually not the first treatment option to consider, as most people are able to get their symptoms under control with non-surgical options. Of course, if your bunion pain is persistent, severe, and doesn’t respond to other treatments then it’s time to consider getting bunion surgery to correct the deformity.
Need relief? Give us a call!
Here at our Reading office, we are always here to address your foot and ankle concerns. If you suspect that you might have a bunion, call us today at (781) 944-4044 for an evaluation!
Bunions are a condition that we see often at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists. The bony protuberance forms on the outside of the base of the big toe as a result of the big toe moving out of place and toward the second toe. As the bunion grows larger, it causes increasing friction and irritation from footwear and the more inflamed the joint becomes. Over time, bursitis or arthritis may develop in the joint and corns or calluses may also form as a result of the ongoing pressure on particular points of the foot caused by the bunion. Bunions are progressive and cannot be eliminated completely accept by surgery.
How Bad is It?
First, you’ll need to make an appointment at our Reading office (781) 944-4044) so that one of our podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, Dr. Kimberly Thurmond or Dr. Dennis Tuck can examine your bunion and take a complete medical history. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be needed to fully evaluate your bunion. The foot doctor may suggest other treatment options first, including:
Orthotic devices to help correct the positioning of the foot and stabilize the joint
Protective padding to help limit friction and rubbing from shoes
Night splints to align toes and joints
Exercises that will prevent stiffness, maintain joint mobility and increase range of motion
If none of these options brings relief or if the size of the enlargement or the extent of the deformity is too severe, the foot doctor may recommend surgery, known as a bunionectomy. A bunionectomy may be necessary to prevent more severe damage from occurring or to stop a bunion from leading to permanent disability.
There are multiple types of bunion surgeries. Expected results and recovery time will vary. If surgery is the recommended treatment for your bunion, be sure you understand fully the procedure and what to expect after surgery. If you have questions, contact us at: (781) 944-4044.
Did you know that one of the biggest factors in preventing foot problems is choosing well-made shoes that fit properly? Here at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we want to offer our patients some tips to take to the shoe store:
Get your feet professionally measured each time you shop for shoes. As you age or if you are pregnant, your feet size can increase.
Most people have one foot that is larger than the other. Always fit shoes to the larger foot.
Be sure shoes are fitted both to the heel and your toes.
Check that there is at least a half inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. When the shoe is all the way on your foot you should still be able to wiggle your toes freely.
Shop for shoes at the end of the day. That’s when feet tend to be most swollen and at their largest size.
Choose shoes with laces rather than slip-on designs for a more secure fit and to better accommodate orthotic devices, insoles or braces.
Always try on both shoes and spend some time walking around in the store to make sure they are comfortable.
Don’t buy heels that are higher than 2 inches. High heels force the toes into the toe box and squeeze them which can lead to toe deformities such as hammertoe.
Check the inside of the shoe for loose stitching or bumps in the material that can cause irritation. This is especially important if you have a bunion or other foot deformity.
If shoes feel tight or uncomfortable in the store, don’t buy them! A “break-in period” for shoes is a myth and will result in blisters and pain when you wear them.
If you are uncertain whether your foot condition requires special shoe accommodations contact either our Reading office at (781) 944-4044 for an appointment and let one of our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. examine your foot and make recommendations for the best shoes to protect your foot health.