A bunion is a deformity of a joint at the base of the big toe. Bunions develop when the metatarsal bone turns outward, forcing the big toe to point inwards which can cause pain and discomfort as pressure is placed on the foot caused by swelling in the joint.
Bunions are more common in women than men and can be a result of repeatedly squeezing the foot into narrow footwear or shoes that have a pointed toe. Additionally, other factors can contribute to bunion pain including having low arches, loose joints and tendons or hereditary conditions. Bunions can also become painful and irritated when individuals have to remain on their feet for extended periods of time throughout the day such as teachers, construction workers, nurses and dancers.
At Advanced Foot & Ankle Center, we provide conservative treatment options in lieu of surgery. We want our patients to avoid surgery if possible and by supplying personalized, conservative bunion care we can often treat bunion pain without surgery.
Our conservative approach includes determining if the patient is wearing a show that properly fits and contains support in the area of the painful joint. Shoes that can relieve bunion pain should have a wide front and flexible sole to support the arch and cushion the foot. We also recommend gel-pads that can be inserted into shoes to provide stability and cushions to protect again repetitive blows on that area.
Therapeutic options include soaking the foot in warm water and alternating that with a cold ice pack & compression to alleviate pain. Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin can also reduce pain and swelling in the area, but should not be relied upon as a permanent solution to reduce pain.
If a conservative approach to rehabbing a painful bunion does not result in a decreased amount of pain, then a bunionectomy can be scheduled and performed with minimal downtime and sometimes without the need for crutches or a cane to assist the patient with walking while they recover. For more information about diagnosing and treating bunion pain, schedule an appointment with Dr. Pedram Aslmand by using the ZocDoc widget at the top of the webpage.