Posts for tag: Bunions
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.
Do you have a bunion? This deformity of the big toe joint can twist the position of the big toe toward, or even over, the second toe. Often plaguing more women than men, bunions cause pain and discomfort, affect the fitting of shoes, and is just plain embarrassing. At Reisinger Farmer Podiatry in Evansville, IN, your experienced podiatrists treat most bunions conservatively. Read below to learn more about what Dr. Charlotte Resinger and Dr. Dusky Farmer can do about your bunion.
How bunions happen
Also called Hallux Abducto Valgus, a bunion presents as a painful, reddened bump at the base of the big toe. This metatarsophalangeal joint bulges outward while causing the big toe to turn inward, both in varying degrees of severity. Harvard Health reports that as a bunion progresses, bursitis and arthritis often develop, along with corns and calluses caused by the friction between the shoe and the foot.
How could a bunion develop on your foot? Many factors play into this common podiatric problem, including:
- Heredity (bunions seem to run in families)
- High-heeled, narrow-toed shoes
- Lax joints
- Flat arches
- Age and gender (advancing years and being a woman are precipitating factors, explains Science Daily)
What you can do
At Reisinger Farmer Podiatry's Evansville office, your podiatrist will examine your bunion, analyze your gait, and take digital X-rays. These steps help the doctor grade the severity of your bunion and to develop a treatment plan to reduce pain and swelling, correct gait problems, and to keep the bunion from worsening.
Frequent components of a bunion treatment plan include:
- Over-the-counter analgesics for pain
- The application of ice on the bunion
- Elevation about heart level
- In-office removal of corns and calluses
- Shoe padding or moleskin to alleviate friction and pressure
- Night time splinting to encourage proper alignment of the big toe joint
- Shoe orthotics, custom-made inserts to correct overpronation, other gait problems, and flat arches
- Losing weight
- Changing to shoes with wider toe boxes, lower heels (no higher than 2-1/2 inches, says the American Podiatric Medical Association)
- Stretching exercises and physical therapy as needed
Bunionectomy (surgical removal of the bunion and subsequent re-aligning of the big toe) is sometimes is necessary in cases of severe and debilitating deformity. However, the doctors prefer a rigorous application of more conservative measures first before ever resorting to surgery.
Find relief for your bunion today!
For more information or to arrange a consultation at our Evansville office, please contact the office at (812) 421-8555.
Do you have a long list of things you'd like to do if only your bunions didn't hurt? Fortunately, you may be able to find relief with a few modifications and a visit to the foot doctor. Your Evansville, IN, podiatrists Dr. Charlotte Reisinger and Dr. Dusky Farmer treat bunion pain and other foot and ankle conditions.
How can I relieve my bunion pain?
If your bunions stop you from doing the things you want to do, try one or more of these strategies and treatments:
- Reevaluate Your Shoe Choices: Do you continue to squeeze your feet into the same shoes you've always worn, despite your bunions? Pressure and friction from tight shoes or high heels increase bunion pain and may even worsen your bunion. When you shop for shoes, choose footwear that offers plenty of room in the toe area.
- Try Toe Exercises: Spend a few minutes every night performing toe exercises. Toe exercises help reduce stiffness and may also help you avoid arthritis or bursitis in the joint.
- Take a Seat: Keeping pain under control can be as simple as staying off your feet. Although you certainly can't sit 24 hours a day, avoiding standing or walking for long periods can help.
- Ask Your Evansville Foot Doctor About Night Splints and Orthotics: Night splints, worn while you sleep, improve the position of the joint at the base of your big toe, which can reduce painful symptoms. Orthotics, custom-made, prescription shoe inserts, realign your feet when you wear shoes. Both devices can improve your comfort level and reduce pain.
- Consider Bunion Surgery: Although surgery isn't always necessary, it may be the best choice if your bunion causes severe pain or interferes with your usual activities. Your podiatrist may recommend this option if other treatments aren't helpful.
Ease your bunion pain with a trip to the foot doctor. Call Evansville, IN, podiatrists Dr. Charlotte Reisinger and Dr. Dusky Farmer at (812) 421-8555 to schedule an appointment.