Did you know that it is estimated that about 33 percent of the population of the Western world will develop a bunion at one time in their lives? At Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, we find that many patients are not familiar with the causes and treatments of this common condition.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a deformity in the bone of the big toe caused by an enlargement of the joint at its base. This enlargement causes the toe to move out of place, drifting toward the second toe and resulting in the characteristic bump on the side of the toe base. As time goes on, the protrusion grows, causing foot pain and irritation from footwear. Left untreated, this condition can become extremely painful and disabling. It can also lead to other foot conditions such as hammertoe and corns.
Fortunately, there are many ways to slow the progression of a bunion and to relieve the pain and discomfort it is causing. It’s essential that you make an appointment at our Macomb (586) 416-3668, St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 or Warren (586) 756-3338 office as soon as possible if you suspect a bunion is developing. Our podiatrists Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw and Dr. Adam Thompson will examine your foot and prescribe the proper treatment. Some options may include:
- Changing your shoes. Tight, narrow toe boxes can exacerbate a bunion and speed its progression. The foot doctor may recommend that you start wearing shoes with wide, roomy toes boxes and low heels.
- Use an orthotic. A custom orthotic device can be made to help correct the position of your foot and stabilize the joint.
- Night splints. These can be used to re-align the toe and the joint properly.
- Exercises. Stretching and other exercises can play a key role in maintaining joint mobility and preventing stiffness.
- Protective padding. If you have started to experience irritation and inflammation from the pressure of your shoes on the bunion, the foot doctor can recommend felt or gel padding to cushion and protect the sore area.