Bunion Deformities Treatment Q and A
Bunion deformity can be a painful condition. Our bunion doctors treat a variety of foot and ankle disorders including bunion, hammer toe deformity, nail disorders, digital disorders and many more. We have 4 locations to serve you in Elgin IL, Schaumburg IL, Huntley IL, and Chicago IL. Visit us online to book an appointment with our expert Podiatrists.
If you have developed a bunion on one or both of your feet, it can cause pain and discomfort while also making it difficult or impossible to fit into your shoes. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists in the Chicago area, we provide exceptional care and treatment for patients with bunion deformities. With 4 convenient offices in Elgin, Huntley, Schaumburg, and Montclare, you can find a location near you.
What are bunions?
The large toe of each foot is made up of 2 different joints. The metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint is the largest of these and attaches the long bones of the feet to the first phalanx of the toe. Bunions develop along the MTP joint when these bones are consistently moved out of alignment. In many cases, the cause of bunion deformities is the wearing of constrictive high heeled shoes, which is why bunions are more common in women than in men. Bunions cause the metatarsal and phalanx pones to pivot outward, leaving you with an unsightly bump on the inner edge of your foot. The enlargement of the joint causes inflammation which can lead to pain and redness at the site of the bunion.
When should I see a doctor for my bunions?
Bunions will often begin as very small deformities. However, if you continue to wear constrictive shoes and the bunion goes untreated, it will likely worsen significantly over time. Your MTP joint moves significantly with each step, which can make walking increasingly difficult as your bunion worsens. In some of the most severe cases, the large toe may reach such an extreme angle that it cannot only result in a significant change in your foot’s appearance but may begin to impact the alignment of other toes. When your toes rub against one another with each step, it can lead to the development of calluses which can add to the pain and discomfort you feel.
How are bunions diagnosed and treated?
Your podiatrist will perform a physical examination to determine whether you have a bunion. Because the alignment of your toe is visible to the naked eye, this is typically a simple process. When deciding how to proceed with treatment, your doctor will likely request x-ray imaging, so they may determine the extent to which your joint has been deformed. In most cases, bunions will be treated by choosing supportive footwear that is wider and more accommodating of your natural foot size. Protective padding can also help reduce the pain you feel by providing a cushion for your inflamed MTP joint inside your shoe. Customized orthotics or toe spacers may also be worn to improve the alignment of your toes. To reduce inflammation, ice and over-the-counter medications may be used. In moderate to severe cases bunion deformities treated with surgery. Surgery to address a bunion deformity will realign bones, soft tissue, and nerves. This is typically considered a last resort treatment because recovery from bunion surgery can be painful and lengthy.
If you have developed a bunion deformity on one or both of your feet, contact Advanced Foot and Ankle Associates in the Chicago area today to schedule a consultation with an experienced podiatrist who can guide you through your treatment and pain management options.