Are bunions causing you pain? Dr. Kristine Strauss and the team at Charlotte Foot & Ankle Specialists in Charlotte, NC, offer effective treatment solutions for relief.
Guide to Bunions and Treatment Options
A bunion can be an embarrassment due to its appearance, but a bunion is more than just undesirable to look at. They can be painful and even lead to other foot conditions. Learn more about bunions and how they can be treated in the guide below from Dr. Strauss and the team at Charlotte Foot & Ankle Specialists in Charlotte, NC.
What Are Bunions, and How Do They Form?
In simplest terms, a bunion is a bony bump. It typically forms at the base of the hallux valgus or big toe, but they do sometimes form at the base of the little toe.
A bunion is a response to constant, long-term pressure on the toe joint, which pushes the toe inward toward the other toes. The toe joint pushes outward, which often rubs against your shoes and forms a callus. The pressure often comes from wearing shoes with a tight toe box or high heels, but it can also be due to genetics and foot structure.
In addition to the painful bump, a bunion can lead to or worsen other conditions – one of which is bursitis. The toe joint contains a sac of fluid called the bursa, which cushions the bones. When the toe is not properly aligned due to a bunion, the bursa becomes irritated and inflamed.
Another condition a bunion can lead to is arthritis, as it can cause the cushioning and lubricating cartilage to wear down. Hammer toes are also likely.
How Can a Bunion Be Treated?
There are several treatment methods, depending on the severity of the condition. In mild to moderate cases, conservative measures are typically effective. These include:
- Wearing shoes with a wide toe box, low heels, and proper support
- Cushions and padding
- Splints, tape, and bracing devices
- Custom orthotics
- Physical therapy
In more severe cases, surgery might be recommended. Surgical methods can help restore alignment to the joint, remove part of the bunion or the toe joint, repair the ligaments and tendons, or a combination of these techniques. Your podiatrist will discuss the best approach for your needs once it is determined that surgery is necessary to relieve your pain and eliminate the impact of the bunion on your life.
If you’re living with the pain and shame of bunions, visit Dr. Strauss at Charlotte Foot & Ankle Specialists in Charlotte, NC. Call (704) 504-4000 to schedule an appointment today.