Most people have heard the term bunion, but do not truly know what it means. Basically, bunions are an abnormal growth of bone at the base of the big toe. These growths can occur on anyone's feet and at any time, causing a deformed appearance of the foot, difficulty walking or wearing shoes, and even pain in some cases. Because of the overall discomfort, it is important to educate yourself on the causes, treatment options, and preventative measures. With this guide, you will have a better understanding of bunions.
The exact cause of a bunion is difficult to determine. In many cases, the abnormal growth of bone occurs from inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis.
Genetics also plays a large role in the development of this abnormality. If a parent or sibling has a bunion, you may have a higher risk of developing one.
Lastly, wearing shoes that do not fit properly may also cause this growth. If your shoes are too tight, excess contact between your toes and shoe will irritate the skin and bone of your toe, increasing the risk of the growth.
In some instances, bunions do not require treatment. However, if you are experiencing pain, struggling to walk, or unable to wear shoes due to the growth, treatment is imperative.
A podiatrist can design a pair of shoes that will alleviate pain while protecting the bone from further irritation. Wearing these shoes each day may decrease the size of the bunion.
If you are unable to wear orthotic shoes, consider wearing pads over your bunions. These pads are made of soft felt or cotton and designed to cover your bunion and big toe, reducing contact between the bone and your shoes.
Surgery is ideal for patients who are experiencing severe pain and deformity caused by the bunion. A local or general anesthetic will put you to sleep while the surgeon removes the overgrown section of bone on your big toe.
Prevention is your best option against fighting bunions. Of course, some patients will be unable to prevent these bone growths, but there are ways to reduce your risk of developing a bunion.
To get started, visit a podiatrist to determine the best type of shoe for your foot. Sizing is important, so make sure your toes do not come in contact with the toe end of the shoe. If you have wide feet, make sure to wear wide shoes only.
If your feet tend to roll in when walking, make sure to choose shoes with supportive arches. Or, place arch supports inside your shoe. Known as pronation, this excess rolling of your foot while walking is linked to bunions.
Bunions may be common, but most people do not have a full understanding of this foot condition. This guide and your doctor's help will help you understand, treat, and prevent bunions. For more information, talk to a company like High Desert Foot & Ankle Clinic - Wonsik Y Bollmann DPM.