A bunion is a common foot condition that affects nearly a third of Americans. The disorder causes an often large, bony bump to develop on the edge of the big toe. Left untreated, it can expand in size, cause considerable pain, and require a visit to a podiatrist. While treatments exist, it’s also possible to prevent the problem. Here’s what you should know.
How Do Bunions Develop?
There are many reasons bunions may form. The progressive condition is often linked to hereditary factors. If your foot is shaped a certain way, it may encourage the big toe’s bones to grow at an angle over time. This eventually causes a bump to develop. But the condition may also result from an injury to the foot. Wearing tight shoes with narrow toe boxes is typically not the lone culprit for a bunion, but doing so can aggravate an existing problem.
What Does Removal Involve?
After diagnosis, your podiatrist may try conservative treatment first. This may involve taking over-the-counter medication, icing the area, and padding your footwear. But these solutions may not provide long-term relief if your bunion is large or very painful.
In that case, surgical intervention involves removing the swollen tissues and part of the bone, then realigning the bone that leads to the big toe, using pins or screws to hold it in place. Recovery typically takes six to 12 weeks and may require you to wear a cast and use crutches.
How Can They Be Prevented?
Be mindful of your footwear choices. If you’re prone to the problem, avoid wearing high heels that put pressure on your toes and often crowd them together. These types of shoes force your toes into an unnatural position, and the angle can cause a bunion to become worse. Similarly, make sure that your footwear fits well. Opt for something with a roomy toe box, and don’t purchase anything that requires “breaking in” to be comfortable. They should fit and feel great from the start.
If you’re concerned about your bunions, turn to Extremity Health Centers Foot & Ankle in Scottsdale, AZ. Serving the community since 1980, their podiatrists offer treatments and pain management solutions for a variety of foot health problems. Visit the website to learn more about how they can help you, or call (480) 994-5977 to schedule an appointment. You can also visit the clinic on YouTube to learn more about their practice.