Bunions are deformities of the MTP (metatarsophalangeal) joint, which lies at the base of your big toe. This condition can severely affect your foot from functioning properly, as well as cause discomfort and damage to your other toes. If you have a bunion, you need to get a professional diagnosis and receive treatment from the Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M.
It can be obvious that you have a bunion from the pain and the odd shape of your big toe. However, you still should get a professional diagnosis.
- X-Rays—In most cases, we will x-ray your foot to evaluate the severity of the condition.
- Blood Tests—These may be done to determine if a particular form of arthritis is the cause of the pain.
Fortunately, most bunions can be treated at home, without needing surgery. The goal of any bunion treatment is to alleviate the pain, as well as stop the bunion from growing worse.
- OTC (over-the-counter) pain medications, as well as medicines designed to relieve inflammation, can help relieve symptoms
- Warm foot baths and heating pads can be effective in easing discomfort
- Ice packs are another way to treat bunions. They should be applied to your toe joints for 10- to 20-minute intervals.
- Splints, bunion pads and shoe inserts are also used in treating symptoms.
- Wearing “roomy” shoes that have deep and wide toe boxes (the area surrounding the toes) can help. Don’t wear narrow, tight shoes or high heels that place pressure on your big toe joint.
- Prescription shoes, which are made with specially designed insoles that help relieve pressure from affected joints, are another treatment. These shoes are also effective in helping the foot become restored to its correct shape.
Sometimes surgery is necessary when severe symptoms are involved. This type of surgery, known as a bunionectomy, is done to realign the bone located behind the big toe. To do this, a podiatrist cuts the ligaments at the joint.
In severe cases, an osteotomy may be needed in which the bone is cut. This surgery involves using screws and wires to secure the bones. It also entails shaving or removing the excess bone.
- As with most surgeries, there’s always the chance of side effects. Complications may occur, such as bunion recurrence, limited toe motion and pain.
- Bunions generally develop by your feet being continually squeezed into pointed-toe and narrow footwear.
Ignoring bunions only intensifies the condition. Don’t hesitate to contact our Livonia office today if you have bunions.