Bunion General Information

Bunions are a problem that affects the lives of thousands of people in this country. The podiatry specialists at Glenoaks Podiatry Group in Glendale, California have the training and extensive tools to help those who are suffering from a condition that can be almost disabling for some patients. The treatment plan involves lifestyle changes, splinting and, perhaps, medication. Some patients with bunions even require surgical correction to eliminate the pain. Call the office, or book an appointment online if you’d like to discuss options to deal with your bunions.

Bunion Q & A

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bony bump that appears to grow on the joint at the bottom of the big toe but is actually the result of the toe being pushed inward. That deviation makes the joint even more prominent. As a result, the skin around the joint can get red and start to break down. It becomes difficult to wear certain kinds of shoes, too. Although most kinds of bunions involve the big toe, small ones can develop over the joint of the little toe, as well.

What causes bunions?

There is no easy answer to that question. People get them for different reasons. The truth is that medical science doesn’t have a clear understanding of why they develop. Some possible factors might include:

  • An inherited type or shape of the foot
  • A foot injury
  • A congenital defect

There are known risk factors for bunions, though, such as:

  • Poor shoe choices like too tight or high heels
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • A family history of bunions

Anyone of these problems might increase a person’s risk of a bunion, although many specialists believe shoes are the primary factor in bunion development. Many of them go unnoticed, but, left untreated, they can lead to complications.

What are the potential complications of a bunion?

Some patients don’t even know they have a bunion until a podiatrist like those at Glenoaks Podiatry Group points it out. For others, the bunion can lead to other painful conditions like:

  • Bursitis
  • Hammertoe
  • Metatarsalgia or pain at the ball of the foot

For these patients, it’s important to find a way to treat the bunion in order to eliminate the secondary condition.

What are the symptoms of a bunion?

They vary based on the patient’s lifestyle, complications, and size of the bunion, but some common complaints include:

  • A bulging on the side of the foot at the base of the toe
  • Swelling or redness around the big toe joint
  • Corns or calluses
  • Persistent pain
  • Intermittent pain
  • Restricted movement of the big toe

What is the treatment for a bunion?

Most conventional treatments involve things like wearing big, comfortable shoes and padding the skin over the bunion to protect it. In some cases, the podiatrist may recommend taping the foot to keep it in a normal position to reduce the stress on the joint. A shoe insert can help redistribute the weight on the foot, as well. For extensive bunions, surgery is necessary to straighten the toe and remove the excess tissue around the joint.

Patients share their experience