If you have a bony bump at the base of your big toe, don’t ignore it—it could be a bunion. Without treatment, what starts as a minor annoyance can turn into serious chronic pain, making it difficult to walk or even wear shoes. At Mountain View Foot & Ankle Care in El Monte, California, experienced podiatrist Ebram Abdelmalak, DPM, can help you adapt to bunions and prevent them from getting worse. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking tool.
A bunion is an abnormal bump in your big toe joint. When you have a bunion, you may notice that the base of your big toe is red, swollen, and sore.
Your big toe is supposed to point straight ahead. When your big toe points inward and puts pressure on your second toe, a bunion may start to form.
Bunions develop slowly. At first, your big toe joint sticks out, and you may be able to ignore the discomfort. As a bunion gets worse, your second toe may become misaligned, begin to put pressure on your third toe, and so on. When bunions are left untreated, they can cause significant foot deformities and chronic pain.
Bunions usually develop due to a combination of genetics and footwear. Some people are born with flat feet or with a big toe that naturally points inward. These inherited foot structures make you more likely to develop a bunion.
Even if you have flat feet or an inward-pointing big toe, you’re not guaranteed to develop bunions. They tend to form when your footwear crowds your toes.
Bunions are more common among women than men. There’s no biological reason for this. It’s simply because of fashionable women’s shoe styles, like high heels and stilettos, that force your toes into a small space.
Anyone can develop bunions, regardless of gender or foot structure. If your shoes are too small or tight, no matter what kind of shoes they are, they can contribute to bunions.
Treatment for bunions depends on how advanced the bunions are. Ideally, you should seek treatment as soon as you see the signs of a bunion, even if it’s not painful.
Early on, you can stop bunions from progressing by changing your footwear. If you continue to wear tight shoes that put pressure on the bunion, it will continue to worsen.
You may simply need to wear shoes that have a large enough toe box to accommodate your toes. Dr. Abdelmalak may recommend custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts, to fix the alignment of your toes and relieve pressure on the bunion.
If your bunion causes you discomfort, Dr. Abdelmalak may prescribe or recommend anti-inflammatory or pain medication in addition to changing your footwear.
In more advanced cases, where there’s significant deformity, inflammation, or pain, you may need surgery to correct the bunion. Thankfully, bunions usually respond to conservative treatment if you seek it early on.
Don’t ignore the signs of a bunion. Schedule an appointment at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Care online or over the phone today.