By: Roshni Gandhi, DPM. Podiatrist, Central Jersey Sports and Spine
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a very common condition caused by a deformity along the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe. This occurs when the long bone turns outward creating a “bump”, bony prominence and the great toe turns inwards jamming into the second toe. Bunion symptoms include plain, swelling, redness, and warmth along the boney prominence.
How does someone get a bunion?
Many things can trigger bunion pain! Some of these triggers include:
- Wearing narrow, pointy shoes or high heels
- Activities that require repetitive stress such as ballet dancing
- Degenerative joint disease
Bunions are hereditary and are more common with certain foot types. Patients with flat feet are more susceptible to developing a bunion due to muscle-tendon imbalances. Over time, you may develop painful calluses along the inside and bottoms of your feet, pain between your toes, and ingrown nails.
What are ways to treat bunions?
Conservative measures can help to prevent bunions from progressing as they can take pressure away from the affected joint and improve the mechanics of your foot. Conservative treatment can include wearing wider and accommodative shoes, the use of custom molded orthotics, a night splint, ice and heat therapy, oral anti-inflammatories, a cortisone injection, and even bunion pads. Custom molded orthotics can reduce the pressure to your bunion site by changing the mechanics of your foot and offloading the painful bump.
Surgical treatment: Some patients may need more invasive therapy for their bunion. Surgical treatment varies from patient to patient depending on the severity of your bunion. Surgery is typically done at an ambulatory surgery center.
“In my career as a Podiatrist I see many patients who suffer from pain and discomfort due to bunions. I hope reading this helps to demystify the idea behind them and encourage you or your loved ones to see a professional for treatment. It’s amazing how much quality of life can be improved from addressing pain caused by bunions!”
Dr. Roshni Gandhi is a Podiatrist with Central Jersey Sports & Spine and sees patients in both Somerset and Monroe Township, New Jersey. To read more about Dr. Gandhi, click here. To schedule an appointment please call 732-846-7000.