Bunions are bony protrusions forming on the joint at the base of the big toe. Bunions occur when the big toe is repeatedly pushed against the other toes. This causes the joint to turn creating an abnormal bump to form as well as bothersome pain. Bunionettes (smaller bunions) have been known to form on the joints of the little toes.
Often bunions form as a result of wearing "too" tight shoes that cause crowding of the toes. They may also be a result of a medical condition (arthritis), heredity, congenital deformities, foot injuries or jobs that cause added stress to the feet.
Bunion pain can be severe enough to interfere with daily life and affect walking. Bunions can also increase in size becoming even more painful over time.
Make an appointment with a podiatrist if you suspect that a bunion is forming. The doctor will check the range of motion in the big toe and will assess any redness or swelling that may be indicative of a bunion. X-rays are useful to determine the cause and severity of the affliction thus far.
- The foot can be taped or padded into a more normal position to alleviate further stress and pain.
- Orthotics and inserts are helpful to evenly distribute pressure in the foot.
- Medications such as Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can reduce pain.
- Injections such as Cortisone near the bunion can bring relief.
- Ice the joint 2-3 times daily as needed.
- Avoid high heels.
- Wear comfortable shoes with plenty of room so the toes aren't "bunched". If you have an occupation that requires uncomfortable safety shoes, consider wearing a pair of OSHATOES®. Our sturdy and reliable safety overshoes allow you to wear your everyday, comfy shoes while providing the safety of a steel toe!
- Removing part of the bone in order to straighten the toe.
- Removal of the swollen tissue around the joint.
- Realignment of the bone in the affected foot.
- Permanently joining the bones of the joint.
Depending on the surgery, a full recovery can take several weeks.
Many foot ailments can be attributed to the shoes people wear. Be smart and choose the shoes that are right for you!