A bunion is a hard protrusion on the side of the foot near the big toe joint that can cause extensive pain. The discomfort is often the result of the bunions rubbing against the inside of the shoes throughout the day, which can cause the bunions to become inflamed and irritated. Bunions will not go away on their own, but there are several ways to treat them. Any of the highly skilled podiatrists at Reston, Manassas & Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers can develop a treatment plan to help you find relief from bunion pain.
How Bunions Develop
Bunions can develop when the metatarsophalangeal toe joint becomes dislocated. This joint connects the big toe to the rest of the foot. What often happens when the joint is out of place is that the big toe leans toward the smaller ones so that the metatarsophalangeal joint ends up leaning in the opposite direction and protruding at the side of the foot. The bony protrusion or bump that forms on the side of the foot is what is called a bunion.
Since this bony area sticks out from the rest of the foot it tends to rub against the shoes, which creates friction and ultimately causes inflammation. Once inflamed, bunions can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Injuries, foot deformities, or medical conditions, such as arthritis, can all contribute to dislocation of the big toe joint, which can lead to bunions. Another potential cause of bunions is wearing shoes that are narrow or too tight so that the toes are cramped together.
Treatments for Bunions
Bunions do not heal on their own so seeking medical treatment is essential. Without treatment, the pain and discomfort will continue and other foot problems could develop, such as the development of hammertoe. One of the experienced podiatrists at our office in Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, VA can create a treatment plan tailored to your specific issues and needs. Some options that can provide relief from the pain and discomfort of bunions include:
- Wearing shoes with enough room for the toes to move
- Inserting padding in the shoes to provide cushioning and reduce friction
- Placing custom orthotics inside the shoes to stabilize the toe joint
- Performing foot exercises to improve joint function
- Wearing a night splint to help realign the toe joint
- Removing corns or calluses on the feet
In some cases, surgery might be needed to treat bunions if complete relief is not achieved through other methods. Surgery can be performed to realign the dislocated toe joint. Other surgical options include removing swollen tissue around the toe joint, removing a portion of the bone in the big toe, or fusing the big toe joints together.
Bunions can be painful but relief is possible and we can help. Schedule an office or virtual appointment with a podiatrist by calling Reston, Manassas & Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers in Reston at (703) 437-6333. You can also contact our Manassas location at (703) 368-7166 or our Leesburg office at (703) 777-2101.