Bunions affect about 23% of adults, with women more likely than men to develop this unsightly and painful bony bump on the inside of their feet. At Foot & Ankle Affiliates, Eric Abrams, DPM, encourages you to get treatment at the first sign of a bunion. Without timely treatment, the deformity is likely to get worse, causing more pain, affecting your ability to walk, and increasing your risk of osteoarthritis. If you have a painful bunion, call one of the offices in Eatontown and Toms River, New Jersey.
Bunions are foot deformities that occur when the bones in your big toes are forced out of their normal position. You develop a bunion when the big toe is under pressure that forces the top of the toe to bend inward, while the joint at the base of the toe is forced outward. The displaced joint creates a bunion’s characteristic bump on the side of your foot.
Bunions gradually develop over years of abnormal pressure on the joints and tendons. They’re often caused by unusual or imbalanced movement when you walk. You may inherit a structural foot problem, such as flat feet, that affects the biomechanics of your gait and leads to a bunion. If you have an inflammatory disease such as arthritis, you’re more likely to have bunions.
Women tend to have bunions more often than men, primarily due to wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes with narrow toes. Both types of shoes place excessive pressure on the big toes, causing a bunion or aggravating an existing deformity.
Beyond the visible bony protrusion on your foot, you may experience symptoms such as:
The enlarged joint may develop bursitis or arthritis, causing more pain and stiffness that hinders toe movement and affects your ability to walk.
When bunions aren’t treated, they usually get progressively larger and more painful. However, early treatment before the condition gets worse can help you avoid surgery. After thoroughly examining your foot, Dr. Abrams develops a treatment plan designed to relieve your pain and stop progressive joint deformity.
The first step is to remove the pressure on your toe. You may need to modify your activities and get low-heeled shoes with a large toe box. Padding the bunion and orthotics also relieve the pressure. Dr. Abrams may recommend wearing a splint at night to hold your toe in a straight position.
Surgery is always the last resort after conservative treatments fail to improve your pain, but if it’s necessary, you can rely on Dr. Abrams’ extensive surgical experience. Bunion surgery realigns the bones, ligaments, and tendons so your big toe can return to its normal position.
At the early signs of a bunion, call Foot & Ankle Affiliates, or request an appointment online.