Summertime usually means sandal time. But unfortunately, if you are dealing with bunions, you might feel discouraged because you can’t wear your favorite shoes!
Today, let’s talk about what bunions are, what causes them, and most importantly, how do you get rid of them?
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a misalignment of the big toe joint. This misalignment causes the big toe to point outwards and rotate towards the smaller toes, and appears as an enlargement at the base of the big toe. Similarly, if you have a sizeable bump at the base of your big toe you may have a bunionette.
What are the Symptoms of a Bunion?
Some symptoms of bunions and bunionettes include:
- Inflammation and redness in the enlarged joint
- Irritation or tenderness
- Inflammation in a small fluid-filled sac adjacent to the joint
- Localized arthritis in the joint (typically occurs during later stages of the deformity)
- Chronic pain in the enlarged joint and toe
One of the worst symptoms of bunions is a decrease in activity level. Bunions can make you hesitate to be active, especially if you are in pain. With bunions it’s often impossible to run or go on long walks, and if you can walk, you have to slow down.
What Causes a Bunion?
Although the precise cause of bunions is unknown, there are certain factors that may lead to them:
- Inherited Genetic Factors: Though shoes can play a minimal role in this deformity, the majority of bunions are a result of biomechanics, or inherited foot types. We also know that bunions are 10 times more likely to affect women than men.
- Abnormal Biomechanics: The instability in the joint and muscle imbalance can create bunions.
- Trauma: Though uncommon, some sprains, fractures, and nerve injuries have led to the development of bunions.
- Neuromuscular Disorders: Certain disorders, such as polio, though rare, have had a correlation with the occurrence of bunions.
- Limb-leg discrepancies: When one leg is longer than the other the longer leg tends to grow the bunion.
Bunions can make you dread putting on your shoes, limit what shoes you can wear, and greatly decrease your activity level. Yes, wearing loose and supportive shoes or taking certain medications like ibuprofen can help alleviate the symptoms, but those are only short term solutions.
How Do You Treat Bunions?
Though your symptoms may stay the same, it is vital to understand that bunions are progressive and will worsen over time!
The good news is that there are long term solutions to treating bunions:
We create custom orthotics here in our office. We take a mold of your actual foot and create the orthotic based on exactly what your foot needs.
2. Corrective Surgery
Surgery is a very successful procedure for treating bunions, and it is the best way to correct this deformity, relieve pain, and improve foot function. People tend to have a misconception about how much down time they will have after bunion surgery. But the great news is, in just three to four weeks after surgery, you can be back to your regular shoes again!
Don’t let your bunions control your feet any longer.