Bunions are one of the most common foot ailments that humans can suffer from. A bunion occurs when the first long bone of the forefoot shifts, causing the big toe to shift towards the remaining toes. This results in the bony bump that seemingly grows on the joint at the base of your big toe. In actuality, the joint is what starts to protrude and that bony bump is called a bunion. Wearing tight, ill-fitting shoes typically received the credit for a bunion forming in the past, however arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, a foot deformity or the actual shape of your foot may result in development of these painful and misshapen bumps. There are some indications that bunions may also be hereditary. Not all bunions require medical treatment but if you are experiencing pain in the bump or foot, limited mobility of the foot, a change in the bump appearance or size, or struggle to find shoes that fit appropriately, it’s time to consider a visit to North Texas Foot and Ankle for diagnosis and discussion of treatment options. Diagnosis of bunions is determined by x-ray and clinical exam.
Bunion correctors are designed to slip over the big toe with a spacer that separates the big toe from rubbing against the neighboring one. They don’t fit well into shoes, and are typically worn overnight. The goal of their design is to realign the joint over time to its proper position. Regardless of their claims to cure a bunion, all they can accomplish is a temporary reduction in symptoms and may or may not slow down the progression of the bunion growth. To date, there are none designed to permanently straighten the alignment of the joint and foot.
Bunions can cause skin irritation, redness, and corns on the other toes as they are being pushed into one another by the big toe joint. There are many products on the market that claim to correct bunions but the truth is that no external correction device can re-align the toe joint. That said, there are prudent courses of action that can be recommended by your doctor prior to making the decision to have corrective surgery:
►Proper shoes that support your foot structure and match your activities may help provide relief from bunion pain. You may have to modify your activities to keep pain to a minimum.
► Additional padding in the shoe, or over the joint may also reduce pain temporarily.
► Depending on the size of the bunion, your physician may prescribe customized orthotics to help relieve pressure on the joint which can temporarily reduce pain.
► Your doctor might prescribe medications to provide a short-term reduction in inflammation of the joint and surrounding area, once again temporarily reducing pain.
► Joint injections are typically not successful in bunion treatment.
Don’t self-diagnose, or purchase over-the-counter devices if you suspect you have a bunion. Ill-fitting or poorly made bunion correctors may result in further injury to your foot. At North Texas Foot and Ankle diagnosis and relief is just a call away. Call us today at 214-574-9255 and let us help you get back to enjoying life pain-free.
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