BUNIONS

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A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe (MTP Joint) that is typically acquired through life. The enlargement forms when the bone or tissue at the Joint moves out of place. This usually causes the big toe to bend towards the second toe, often resulting in a painful bump that make it difficult to wear shoes.

The big toe joint carries the most amount of the body’s weight while walking, resulting in pain if left untreated. As more time passes, the joint can become stiff and sore leading to possible arthritis.

HOW A BUNION IS FORMED

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A bunion is usually brought on by years of abnormal motion and pressure over the the big joint, disrupting and changing the normal balance of forces on the foot. With the joint unstable, the bunion deformity forms. This can be caused by abnormal foot development, the way we walk, or “bad” shoes. People prone to this condition include those patients with flatfeet or low arches, arthritis, or inflammatory joint disease.

An x-ray is often indicated in order to assess the severity of the condition.

SYMPTOMS

  • Firm bump developed at the base of the big toe, on the outside edge of the foot
  • Redness, swelling, and/or pain near the joint
  • Formation of corns or calluses around the area
  • Overlapping of the first and second toes
  • Limited motion to the MTP joint with pain

TREATMENT

Conservative options entail removing pain and halting the progression of the deformity. Generally, shoes with wider and deeper toe boxes are a good starting point. Shoes such as narrow dress shoes or high heels can irritate the condition and should be avoided. Other conservative treatment options include:

  • Prescription medications such as anti-inflammatories or oral steroids
  • Shoe inserts
  • Custom orthotics
  • Padding
  • Splints
  • Steroid injection
  • MLS Laser Treatments
  • Physical therapy

Surgery is often indicated and inevitable when pain persists consistently. X-rays would be taken to assess the severity of the condition with a surgical procedure performed accordingly. Generally, the procedures involve shifting the bone back into proper alignment while keeping it fixated with hardware.

The primary goal for most treatment options is to relieve pressure on the bunion and halt the progression of joint deformity. If a patient exhibits early indication of pain or discomfort, they should visit your podiatrist at Premier Foot & Ankle to prevent worsening of the condition.

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