A bunion is an abnormal, bony prominence that develops on the joint at the base of your big toe. As the big toe joint becomes enlarged, it forces the toe to crowd against your other toes, and the pressure exerted on your big toe joint results in inflammation and pain. Early treatment is necessary to decrease the risk of developing joint deformities.
Bunions develop due to prolonged abnormal pressure or motion on your big toe joint, most often caused by inherited structural defects, poor-fitting shoes, foot injuries, or congenital deformities. Women are generally more prone to bunions because of the shoe types typically worn, such as high-heels and narrow-toed shoes.
Bunion pain can range from mild to severe, often making it difficult to wear shoes and perform normal activities. You should contact our New Orleans or Metairie office if you notice the following symptoms:
- An enlarged, visible bulge on your big toe joint
- Frequent pain, swelling, or redness around your big toe joint
- Irritation, corns, or calluses caused by the overlap of the first and second toes
- Restricted movement of your big toe or foot that prevents you from performing normal activities
Treatment for a bunion will vary depending on its severity. Identifying the condition in its early stages is important to avoid surgery, with the main objective of early treatment being to relieve pressure and stop the progression of the deformity. Many times conservative treatments, such as padding, modified footwear, or orthotic devices can be highly effective for preventing further growth and reducing the pressure and pain.
New Orleans Podiatry Associates recommends the following for reducing pressure and pain caused by bunions:
- Apply ice to reduce inflammation and pain
- Our podiatrists can show you how to apply padding to your foot to place it in its normal position and reduce stress on the bunion
- Wear comfortable shoes that don't cramp or irritate your toes and avoid high-heeled shoes
When early treatments fail or the persistent pain associated with your bunion is interfering with your daily activities, a surgical procedure may be recommended as a last resort to realign the toe joint and alleviate the pressure. New Orleans Podiatry Associates can advise you on the best treatment options available to relieve pressure on the bunion and slow the progression of the joint deformity.