There are several reasons why bunions may develop. These can include genetic factors, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, a foot deformity, or from a medical condition like arthritis. A bunion is defined as a bone that protrudes from the joint in the big toe, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. Additional symptoms of a bunion can consist of swelling and redness surrounding the affected joint, and the toe may be difficult to move. After a proper diagnosis is made, which generally involves having an X-ray taken and a physical examination of the foot is performed, proper treatment can begin. Orthotics may be prescribed and it is beneficial to wear shoes that have low heels and a wide toe box. If your bunion is very painful or causing difficulty walking, it is strongly suggested that you are examined by a podiatrist.
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 office located in Dallas, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.