About Those Bunions…

Not all feet look alike. Some are long, while others are short. Some have more distinctive big toes.  And if you have bunions, you have a bony protrusion sticking out of the side of your big toe joint.

For most, this means a small growth that sticks out of the big toe joint, usually at the widest point of your feet. Injury, habits (like wearing pointy shoes), arthritis, and hereditary factors could lead to this growth that pushes the big toe to point toward the other toes. While some just have the small growth, others can end up with large bone growth that completely alters the shape of the feet. This can prevent them from fitting into many shoes, especially ones with narrow openings. Some long-term consequences could include foot pain, blisters, corns, bursitis, or metatarsalgia.

Women tend to have bunions more often than men do. This is likely due to the fact that women wear high heels and pointed toe shoes. If a bunion problem persists, it can lead to a permanent deformity in the big toe joint. When the bunion becomes such a problem that most shoes won’t fit and there is pain, surgery may be necessary to correct the issue.

Tips for dealing with bunions without surgery:

  • Use bunion pads to protect the bunion from irritation.
  • If there is pain and swelling, you can use ice packs. You can also take NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
  • Buy orthotic inserts or get some custom made to fix the posture of your feet and give your feet support.
  • Make sure your shoes fit you well so that your feet are not overcompensating for grip or movement.
  • There are toe separators and splits to keep your feet aligned while sleeping or while walking barefoot.

If surgery becomes necessary because of complications, the surgeon removes the bony growth and resets the big toe’s positing correctly. If you’ve felt pain for at least a year, surgery may be the best option.

To find out what the best option is for you, click to make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office to treat your bunion issues and keep your feet healthy.