Around 23% of American adults develop a bunion, with women eight times more likely to be affected by this problem than men. You may be able to tolerate a bunion initially, but you can’t prevent the condition from progressively worsening without proper treatment from a skilled podiatrist like Dr. McElvin Pope in New York City and Long Island City Dr. Pope begins with conservative treatment and turns to his surgical expertise only when pain persists, and complications develop. Don’t wait to get treatment for a bunion, call Dr. Pope’s Manhattan office or schedule an appointment online today.
A bunion is a type of foot deformity that occurs when the bones in your big toe develop outside their standard form. The condition intensifies over time as continuous pressure pushes the top of the big toe toward the second toe.
As the top of the toe bends inward, the joint at the base of the toe is forced outward, where it causes the characteristic bump on the side of your foot.
Without treatment, the bone’s regular structure changes and the bunion progressively worsens. In severe cases, the big toe may force the second toe out of alignment, inflaming the joint.
Bunions often develop due to genetically inheriting a foot shape or structure with a tendency to cause bunions. An underlying inflammatory condition much like rheumatoid arthritis may also result in a bunion.
Wearing shoes that are too narrow for your feet or have pointed toes or high heels also bends your big toe, which either leads to a bunion or accelerates your hereditary tendency. Women are eight times more likely than men to develop bunions due to wearing poorly fitting shoes.
Common symptoms of bunions include pain, swelling, burning, and limited movement. Bunions lead to difficulty walking, poor balance, and the potential for falling in older adults. Your risk for developing osteoarthritis increases when you have a bunion.
You may develop calluses either where your toes rub together or on the bottom of your foot. As the problem progresses, you may develop bursitis in the affected joint.
Although Dr. Pope always begins your treatment with conservative options, bunions that go untreated and worsen often require surgery.
Your treatment plan may include any of the following:
You may need orthotic inserts or orthopedic shoes to eliminate pressure, stabilize the toe joint, and accommodate the bunion.
Dr. Pope may recommend structured exercises or physical therapy to improve movement in the toe joint. You may also need topical pain medication or injections to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
When pain persists despite orthotics and conservative treatments, or if your bunion worsens, Dr. Pope may operate to realign the toe and repair the bones and soft tissues.
As soon as you notice pain or a bunion deformity, call or book an appointment online to get an early start on treatment.