The bony lumps at the side of your foot known as bunions can be both painful and unsightly, and often affect your ability to walk or wear shoes comfortably. The expert team of podiatrists at Kalmar Family Podiatry in Huntington, New York, has many years of experience in helping people with their bunions and provides a selection of treatments that can alleviate your discomfort. Call Kalmar Family Podiatry today to find out more, or book an appointment online.
A bunion is a lump that protrudes from the inside of your foot by the base of your big toe. You probably notice it at first as a feeling of pressure when you’re wearing shoes, but as the bunion grows larger, it can become painful.
Bunions form when the big toe moves out of alignment with the other toes, so it points towards the second toe. As the big toe moves inward, the base starts shifting out, pressing against the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint that sits just behind your big toe.
The shifting of your big toe that causes a bunion to form is most often due to problems with how the foot functions. Many people who have bunions have family members who also have the problem, and children can sometimes get bunions if there’s a genetic predisposition in the family.
Bunions are more likely to form if you don’t wear appropriate, supportive footwear. High heels, in particular, force the bones of the foot into unnatural positions, placing them under considerable strain. Women develop bunions more frequently than men as they’re more likely to wear high heels.
Other foot problems such as arthritis can also make you more likely to develop a bunion. In the early stages, bunions are more of a nuisance than a serious problem, but if left untreated they can become increasingly painful and disabling, so prompt attention at Kalmar Family Podiatry is the best course of action.
The first stage in the treatment of bunions is to provide support for the foot and accommodation for the bunion. Shoes should have wide, deep toes rather than pointed toes to give room for the bunion, and a soft sole to provide cushioning for the foot.
The podiatrists at Kalmar Family Podiatry can create custom orthotics, which are foot supports explicitly designed for a patient’s feet. The orthotics fit inside your shoes and provide relief from the pain, as well as supporting the arch and helping realign the bones in your foot.
Protective padding can also help by eliminating friction where the bunion rubs against the inside of your shoe. The team at Kalmar Family Podiatry uses silicone gel bunion shields for this purpose.
In some cases, the bunion doesn’t respond to conservative approaches, or it may have progressed to the point that surgery is advisable to remove the bunion and correct the alignment of the toe.
A bunionectomy is a skilled operation that requires the expertise of a foot and ankle surgeon, like your skilled podiatrist at Kalmar Family Podiatry.
If you think you have a bunion, or you’re experiencing any kind of pain in your feet, call Kalmar Family Podiatry today, or book an appointment online.