Bunions cause a substantial amount of foot pain. Just what is a bunion? It's a sore red, bump on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe. Fortunately, conservative interventions effectively treat bunion discomfort in most cases. Your podiatrists in Abingdon, MD, Dr. Michael Block and Dr. Monica Cooney, can diagnose and treat your bunion so you stay active and healthy.
What is a bunion?
It's a progressive deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. This reddened, sore bump causes changes the shape of the foot--sometimes to the point of affecting gait and mobility.
The symptoms of a bunion include:
- Soreness and inflammation
- Progressive movement of the big toe toward the second and even third toe (hallux valgus)
- Callus formation on the bottom of the foot
- Arthritis and stiffening of the joint
- Friction against the inside of the shoe
Diagnosis and treatment of bunion pain
The Harvard Medical School says millions of adults suffer from bunions, but in particular, women tend to develop them more than men do. Research points to a hereditary tendency for this deformity which, when coupled with narrow shoes, high heels and long periods of standing, leads to bunion formation by mid-life.
If you suspect you have a bunion, see Dr. Block or Dr. Cooney for a podiatric exam at their Abingdon office. Your foot doctor will inspect your foot visually, check your range of motion and gait and take digital X-rays as needed. Then, the doctor will formulate a care plan to relieve your symptoms.
Common treatments may include:
- Rest, ice, and elevation of the foot
- Customized shoe orthotics, or inserts, to reduce pressure on the bunion and correct any overpronation (rolling inward of the foot) or flat arches
- Shoe padding to reduce pressure and friction
- Corn and callus removal
- Ibuprofen for pain
- Stretching exercises and physical therapy
- Change of footwear to shoes with better support in the arches, lower heels (no more than two inches and more room in the toe boxes, says the American Podiatric Medical Association)
Bunionectomy is the podiatric surgery which removes the typical bony bump and re-aligns the big toe joint. However, it is not the first treatment of choice for most bunion patients because conservative measures help the vast majority of people. Dr. Cooney and Dr. Block are experts in podiatric surgery and can walk you through your treatment options to arrive at the best plan for your unique needs.
And a happier you--both can happen when Dr. Block and Dr. Cooney treat your bunions. For a definitive diagnosis and way to pain-free feet, call their office today for an appointment: (410) 569-0445.