What are bunions?
A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe that forces the toe to bend, causing a painful lump of bone on the side of the foot. A similar problem can occur on the outside of the foot along the little toe. This is called a bunionette or a tailor’s bunion.
What you can do…
- Apply a commercial, nonmedicated bunion pad to the protruding bone.
- Wear shoes with a wide and deep toe box.
- If your bunion becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice packs several times a day to reduce swelling.
- Avoid high-heeled shoes.
- See your podiatric physician if pain persists.
How a podiatric physician can help…
The primary goal of most early treatment options is to relieve pressure on the bunion and halt the progression of the joint deformity. A podiatric physician may recommend these treatments:
Padding & Taping
Often the first step in a treatment plan, padding the bunion minimizes pain and allows the patient to continue a normal, active life. Taping helps keep the foot in a normal position, reducing stress and pain.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections are often prescribed to ease the acute pain and inflammations caused by joint deformities.
Often used to provide relief of the inflammation and from bunion pain. Ultrasound therapy is a popular technique for treating bunions and their associated soft tissue involvement.
Shoe inserts may be useful in controlling foot function and may reduce symptoms and prevent worsening of the deformity.
When early treatments fail or the bunion progresses past the threshold for such options, podiatric surgery may become necessary to relieve pressure and repair the toe joint. Several surgical procedures are available. The surgery will remove the bony enlargement, restore the normal alignment of the toe joint, and relieve pain.
Source: The American Podiatric Medical Association