Causes of a bunion include:
Tight-fitting shoes – especially around the toe area
High heels – puts excessive pressure on the toes
Arthritis – irritation and swelling could cause the deformity
Heredity – bone structure is passed on from a family member
Symptoms of a bunion include:
A bulge on the big toe
Redness, pain or swelling of the big toe area
Inability to bend the toe
Corns or calluses – develop where the toes meet
While there are over the counter treatments for a bunion, seeing your podiatrist is the best solution as they are trained to appropriately treat them. If not treated properly, a bunion can become much more complicated and can turn into bursitis – liquid-filled sacs(bursae) that can become inflamed, hammertoe – a bending of the second toe joint that could result in a need for surgery and metatarsalgia – a painful condition affecting the ball of your foot. After taking an x-ray your podiatrist can treat the bunion in several different ways.
Changing shoes – better fitting footwear with space near the toes
Adding padding – applied to cushion the affected area
Pain-relief medication – acetaminophen, ibuprofen or similar. Take ONLY as directed
Orthotics – custom made shoe insert
Ice – to relieve pain and swelling
If these treatments do not help, then surgery may be needed. Surgery can remove part of the bone and/or swollen material in the joint, straightening of the toe joint or permanently joining the affected bones. Recovery could take weeks, but not in all cases.
Daily foot care is an important aspect of any healthy lifestyle. If you start to experience regular foot pain and think you may be developing a bunion or any other foot condition, it’s best to see a podiatrist as soon as possible to avoid further damage. At Park 56 Podiatry, our podiatrists Jonathan Levy, DPM and Nadia Levy, DPM, can work with your unique arch structure and keep you moving happily. Call our office at 212-980-6487 or make an appointment today using our online appointment request form at our office conveniently located in Midtown East, Manhattan.