A large piece of bone protruding on the top or side of the foot may be referred to as a bunion. It’s often the result of inflammation of the tissues surrounding the big toe, in addition to the bones and tendons not lining up correctly. Narrow and high-heeled shoes are a common cause of bunions, which may become larger as time progresses and can possibly cause conditions like bursitis and arthritis. Symptoms can include tingling or numbness of the big toe, nerve irritation, and severe pain. Common bunions typically don’t require an exam, and most will be managed by applying cold therapy, wearing shoes with cushioned pads, and possibly taking anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery may be an option to consider if the pain is persistent or is affecting the quality of your life. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised for treatment of this condition.
If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
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 by 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 cause bunions to form
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 one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.