A very common foot condition that causes a bony lump to appear on the base of the big toe is known as a bunion. Bunions occur because the joint is pulled out of alignment, causing the big toe to turn towards the rest of the toes. Bunions tend to worsen over time and common symptoms can include a deformity in the joint of the big toe, a bony lump, pain, redness, swelling, or an overlapping of the big toe over the smaller toes. Bunions can have a variety of causes, such as wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly, arthritis, old age, and even genetics. Bunions can be treated both surgically or non-surgically through methods such as orthotics, or pain relief medicine. If you are experiencing a painful bunion, consulting with a podiatrist is suggested in order to find a treatment method that is best for you.
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 worsen existing bunions
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 offices located in Inner Loop, Southwest, Greater Heights, and Pearland, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.