What happened to your foot? It hurts when you walk, especially when you first get out of bed. Plus, you notice a reddened bump at the bottom of the big toe. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists in Elgin, Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Huntley, and Chicago, IL, your podiatrist sees many of these bony bumps. They are a common foot problem called bunions, and they can be corrected so you can stay active and feel comfortable.
Diagnosing a bunion
Bunions aren't unusual. A full 36 percent Americans develop bunions, and while gender (women get them more often), age (the older you get the more likely you are to get one) and heredity (bunions run in families) play significant roles in their development, bunions can happen to anyone at any stage of life. And, they are nothing to be ignored because they cause significant pain, deformity and even immobility.
What tells your podiatrist you have a bunion? Physical examination easily reveals the condition. A bunion is an obvious inward deviation of the first metatarsal bone of the foot and a pronounced bump at the base of the big toe at the metatarsophalangeal joint. Frequently, bunions lead to deformities called hammertoes and to Hallux Valgus, a crossing of the big toe toward the second and even third toes. Arthritis and bursitis may accompany bunions, leading to significant discomfort and stiffness.
If you come to Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, your podiatrist will inspect your foot, watch you walk and take X-rays. This information helps him diagnose a bunion and to decide what treatment options are best.
Treatment for bunions
Some bunions are so severe they require a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy which removes the bump and properly aligns the metatarsophalangeal bone. Some bunions, however, respond well to more conservative interventions such as:
- A change in shoes to ones with wider toe boxes and better arch support
- Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts
- Shoe padding (moleskin)
- In-office removal of any corns and calluses formed from the friction between the bunion and the shoe
- Stretching exercises and physical therapy
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Cortisone shots
- Night splints (usually for adolescents whose bones and joints are growing)
- Staying within a normal weight range
You and your bunion
You can look forward to better mobility and an end to your discomfort with precise bunion treatment at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists. We have five locations to serve you. Call 847-468-1994 today to schedule an appointment in Elgin, IL. Call 815-356-0500 to schedule an appointment in Crystal Lake, IL. Call 847-352-0200 to schedule an appointment in Schaumburg, IL. Call 815-356-0500 to schedule an appointment in Huntley, IL. Call 773-836-9900 to schedule an appointment in Chicago, IL.