Are you bothered by that bony bump at the base of your big toe and wondering what it is? It could be a bunion, which develops when the bones in the front part of your foot move out of place, causing the joint at the base of your big toe to protrude.
Bunions tend to run in families, so the reason why you have one has much to do with the fact that you are genetically predisposed to it. Wearing ill-fitting shoes can trigger the development of a bunion in those who are predisposed to it.
Bunions need medical attention. They can impair your foot’s function, harm the other toes, and cause other foot problems to develop, such as a hammertoe—a foot deformity that can be extremely painful.
When to See a Podiatrist
Apart from the bulging bump, the following are the signs and symptoms of a bunion. If you have any of these, it is in your best interest to see a podiatrist for an evaluation:
- Toe deformity
- Corns and calluses (often develop where your first and second toes rub against each other)
- Discomfort along the foot (feeling the pressure of rubbing)
- Needing to shift weight away from your big toe, causing you to walk with a limp
- Inability to wear the usual shoes due to pain and other discomforts
- Pain when walking or exercising
Bunions can be treated using conservative methods. Usually, if you see a podiatrist at the earliest signs of the problem, they can be treated without surgery.
Why See a Podiatrist
Bunions can look very similar to gout, cysts, and arthritis, and may be construed as an ordinary orthopedic condition. An accurate diagnosis is, therefore, crucial for receiving proper treatment.
Although bunions can also be addressed by an orthopedic doctor, your best course of action is to see a podiatrist, who specializes in the treatment of conditions or injuries involving the foot or ankle.
Your podiatrist will likely recommend the following treatment options for your bunion:
· Padding and Taping (Usually Your First-Line Treatment)
Padding your bunion reduces the pain and allows you to function normally, whereas taping it helps put your foot in a normal position and reduces the stress.
· Anti-Inflammatories and Cortisone Injections
Your podiatrist may prescribe anti-inflammatories or administer cortisone shots, both of which can provide effective relief for pain and inflammation caused by the joint protrusion.
· Prescription Orthotics
These can help reduce the stress on your bunion, and consequently, minimize your risk of deformity. Orthotics are a valuable intervention, especially when the condition involves
hypermobile joints (these are joints that have an unusually large range of motion).
If other treatment avenues have already been exhausted and relief has not been achieved, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. Outcomes of bunion surgery can vary, depending on the extent of joint damage and the type of procedure performed.
Reliable Podiatrist in Naples, FL
At Joint Replacement Institute, we are an orthopedic practice that also offers exceptional podiatric care to everyone within the Naples area in Florida.
We take pride in the expertise and compassionate approach of our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Jaime Weaver. She offers an extensive range of bunion treatments—from conservative to minimally invasive surgeries—to address the symptoms and help you restore your normal foot shape and function. She will educate you about your condition and treatment options and make sure you are well informed throughout your treatment.
To make an appointment with Dr. Weaver, call our podiatry office at (239) 261-2663 or request one online now. We look forward to your visit!