Our Vero Beach, FL, podiatrists are happy to answer all of your questions about bunions.
While bunions are definitely more common in women, the truth is, this foot problem can happen to anyone. No matter whether you are dealing with a bunion or looking to prevent this from happening to you, it's essential to understand more about bunions and when it might be time to turn to our Vero Beach, FL, podiatrists at Advanced Foot & Ankle of Indian River for care.
What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are hard, bony protrusions that usually develop at the base of the big toe at the joint. Bunions develop gradually, so you may not even notice them at first; however, when too much pressure is placed on the joint, this can lead to a bunion.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bunion?
Since symptoms are subtle, it can take years to recognize that you have a bunion. While a bunion can develop on the smaller toe joints (known as bunionettes), it most commonly affects the big toe joint (known as the metatarsophalangeal or MTP joint).
Over time, you may notice that the big toe leans inwards on the smaller toes. Pain is usually the most common symptom of a bunion. You may notice that the joint aches or hurts when walking around or after wearing poorly fitted shoes. Those who wear high heels or shoes with pointed toes are more likely to aggravate bunions. The joint may also turn red and swollen. As the bunion progresses, a callus may form on the joint from rubbing against shoes.
How Is a Bunion Treated?
Initial bunion treatment is relatively conservative, and our Vero Beach, FL, foot doctors will focus on ways to manage your symptoms through simple lifestyle changes and home care. These treatment options may include,
- Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications
- Splinting or bracing the bunion
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Wearing properly fitted footwear
- Avoiding high heels and shoes with pointed toes
- Custom shoe inserts
If home care isn’t alleviating your bunion pain, it’s time to see our Vero Beach, FL, podiatrists. Untreated bunions will continue to progress, leading to severe pain and deformity of the joint and big toe.
Do I Need Surgery To Treat My Bunion?
Most people won’t need surgery; however, because of the progressive nature of a bunion, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor if symptoms get worse or if anything changes.
A bunionectomy is usually performed when all other nonsurgical treatment options have been used but haven’t alleviated pain and other symptoms. Those with severe, daily pain that affects their quality of life may want to discuss the pros and cons of bunion surgery with one of our foot and ankle specialists.
Worried that you might have bunions? Our Sebastian and Vero Beach, FL, podiatrists can be the judge of that. Call Advanced Foot & Ankle of Indian River at (772) 299-7009 to schedule an evaluation with our team.