The joint at the base of your big toe or little toe sometimes shifts, creating the protrusion of a bony prominence that can cause pain, making it difficult to find appropriate footwear, and eventually limit your mobility. If you’ve noticed a bunion and it’s causing you discomfort, it’s important to see a podiatrist for diagnosis and proactive treatment right away. The podiatrists at Starrett Podiatry treat bunions in their six locations throughout New York: East Harlem and West Harlem in New York City; Brooklyn, New York; and Mott Haven and Belmont in Bronx, New York.
From the outside, a bunion looks like a bony growth near the base of your big toe, extending toward your other foot when standing with feet together. However, on the inside, it’s clear that the bunion is simply the misaligned joint of the big toe.
While the exact cause is unknown, research indicates that genetics play a substantial role. Other causes include a history of trauma to the area, polio, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and having one leg that’s longer or shorter than the other.
Women are more likely to develop bunions than men, possibly from wearing high-heeled, tight-fitting shoes. Ballet dancers and people with certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are also at increased risk.
Not all bunions cause symptoms; in these cases, the only sign is the visual presence of a bony protrusion. The most common symptoms include the development of a callus where your shoes put pressure on the bunion, soreness, redness, and pain.
In most cases, podiatrists can diagnose a bunion based on physical examination only. However, taking X-rays can help your doctor understand the structure of the bones involved and create a safe, effective treatment plan.
There are measures you can take to reduce pain, but they don’t treat the underlying problem. The only treatment for a bunion is a surgical correction. The team at Starrett Podiatry provides off-site bunion surgery when recommended.
You can’t treat a bunion without intervention from a podiatrist. However, wearing wide shoes that allow room for your foot without putting pressure on your bunion can help relieve your pain.
You can also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and inflammation, but it’s important to note that this is only a short-term solution.
See a doctor at Starrett Podiatry if your bunion is causing pain or discomfort.