When it comes to surgery, podiatrists ensure that all nonsurgical options are exhausted first. A bunion is a bony bump that occurs on the joint at the base of the big toe and can be treated with nonsurgical means. Not all bunions are serious or produce symptoms; however, they can become worse over time without treatment. Treatment options that podiatrists typically consider include roomier and comfortable shoes, bunion pads, and anti-inflammatory medication. Better-fitted shoes will help prevent the bunion from pressing up against the inside of the shoe. Bunion pads also help prevent the bunion from becoming compressed. Anti-inflammatory medication can help reduce inflammation and pain. A cortisone shot may be recommended for longer-lasting relief. If these or other options do not produce results, and the pain is severe, a podiatrist may then recommend surgery to treat the bunion.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why do Bunions Form?
Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form
How are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Midtown, Manhattan. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Bunions