What is a bunion?
A bunion is a painful, bony bump that develops at the base of your big toe joint. Bunions form when your big toe gets pushed toward the other toes, throwing the bones out of alignment. This process happens gradually, changing the angle of your toe bones over the course of years.
In addition to the development of a tender bump along the inside of your foot, a bunion may cause your big toe to overlap with your second toe. Calluses and corns may form where the two toes rub together.
Bunions that form on the little toe and create a bump along the outside of your foot are called bunionettes or tailor’s bunions.
What causes bunions?
Bunions may be caused by a genetic abnormality in the foot structure that causes the big toe to lean inward. Women and men with a family history of bunions are at higher risk of developing a bunion.
Wearing shoes that are too tight, narrow, or don’t fit properly can also increase your susceptibility to bunions. Although bunions can affect anyone, this condition is much more common in women.
Occupations or activities that require spending lots of time on your feet, such as teaching, may also aggravate bunion symptoms.
What are the symptoms of a bunion?
Bunions may cause a variety of symptoms and foot problems. Common bunion symptoms include:
- Redness and swelling
- A firm, painful bump at the base of the toe
- Corns or calluses
Over time, bunions can become so painful it’s difficult to wear shoes or walk normally. Many women and men suffer from the pain of bunions for years before seeking treatment, but Dr. Kleis can help you today.
How do you diagnose and treat bunions?
Dr. Kleis begins with a thorough physical exam and review of your medical history. Although the bunion may be visibly obvious, he may take an X-ray to evaluate the extent of your condition.
Next, Dr. Kleis develops an individualized treatment plan that best serves your needs. Depending on the severity of your condition, your bunion treatment plan may include:
- Low level laser treatment or acoustic wave therapy
- Padding the bunion
- Oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication
- Orthotic devices
Dr. Kleis examines every possible treatment before recommending surgery. However, if your bunion causes severe pain or doesn’t improve with nonsurgical treatment, he may advise surgery to remove the bunion and correct your foot alignment.
If you have a bunion, don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment online for expert treatment with Dr. Kleis.