What is that "lump" on the joint at the base of your big toe? It may well be a bunion, a bothersome and sometimes painful malformation of the foot. Causing a twisting of the big toe inward toward, and sometimes over, the second and third toe, bunions comprise one of the most common reasons people see a foot doctor at the Reston, Manassas and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers.
Symptoms of Bunions
The Mayo Clinic says bunions exhibit symptoms such as:
- big toe malformation (specified above)
- redness and swelling of the joint at the base of the big toe
- soreness related to friction between the foot and shoe
- corns and calluses
- arthritis and bursitis
- foot pain extending up the legs to the knees, hips and back
Treatment of Bunions
One of the podiatrists at the Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers can evaluate your feet and determine the best course of treatment for bunions. While he or she cannot change the heredity that may contribute to bunions, the foot doctor can help your feet function and feel better.
Many times, simple rest and icing help tremendously, as do pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen and various bunion pads and splints. Wearing wider and more supportive shoe and losing weight to take pressure off the foot helps too. Custom orthotics and supportive shoe inserts can be helpful in slowing down the progression bunions.
Additionally, surgery, called a bunionectomy , may be needed to remove the bunion and help straighten the toe. There are various bunionectomy procedures that may involve cutting and repositioning of bone, removal of part of the first metatarsal joint, fusing the joints of the toe and/or removing excess soft tissue or bone.
But the best treatment option for bunions in Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, Virginia may be prevention.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons maintains that while a full 50 percent of women in the U.S. suffer from bunions of one level of severity or other, men have this podiatric issue, too. Many of these bunions can be avoided or made less painful and debilitating if pointy-toed shoes and high heels were avoided. As fashion trends change, males are also wearing shoes with narrower toe boxes to the detriment of the big toe joint.
So, people need to wear shoes that are:
- made of quality, supportive materials
- have good arch supports and ample room for toes, especially the tip of the big toe
- have heels no higher than two inches
Beyond that, store bought over-the-counter shoe inserts can provide some cushioning and support for walking, athletic activities and occupations where people stand or walk for a good portion of the day. Quality orthotics, custom-fitted and fabricated by a podiatrist, are the best choice for correcting a walking pattern that may encourage bunion formation and for providing adequate support for the flat arches that are related to bunions.
Don't be in pain! Call Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers. If you think you have a bunion, don't wait to seek treatment. Your Reston, Manasses and Leesburg area podiatrists, Steven A. Gordon, DPM, FACFAS, Shaun C. Hafner, DPM, FACFAS, Nancy M. Han, DPM, AACFAS, Lisa G. Beckinella, DPM will examine your foot, listen to your symptoms and individualize your treatment plan. Call Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers today for a consultation!