If you have a bump on the side of your big toe, you may have something called a bunion otherwise known as hallux abducto valgus (HAV). What is a bunion? A bunion is just that, a bump on the side of your big toe, however, it is not just any bump. It is caused when your big toe pushes against your next toe causing the joint to bulge. Bunions can be very painful.
Symptoms of a bunion include:
- Swelling – Usually around the big toe joint
- Corns and/or calluses – Where the two toes meet
- Pain – In and around the big toe joint
- If affected by arthritis – stiffness of the big toe
- Numbness – loss of feeling in the toe and joint
- Burning feeling – in and around the big toe
- Hardened skin – under the foot
Risk factors for a bunion include:
- High heels – can push the toes together causing a bunion
- Poor-fitting footwear – can put undue stress on the toes and rest of the feet
- Inherited bone structure – Predisposed to misalignment of toes
- Injury – can deform toes
If you believe you have a bunion or are developing one, your podiatrist can examine your foot and take an x-ray to determine what is causing it.
Treatment for a bunion includes the following:
- Good fitting footwear – Proper footwear will support the foot around the big toe
- Orthotic or shoe insert – Will also provide support. Custom orthotic suggested
- Apply tape or padding – Can add pressure to keep the toe joint from moving more
- Ice – Apply for 15 minutes on and off for another 15 to relieve pain and swelling
- Pain-relieving medication – Acetaminophen or other. Use only as directed
- Cortisone shots – Can numb the area
- Surgery – May require the removal of the bump or realignment of the foot bones. Can also repair weak parts of the joint
Surgery is usually for older patients and is the most extreme of treatments but maybe the best choice depending on the circumstances. Recovery could take up to 6 months.
If you believe you are developing a bunion or have any other concerns about the health of your feet, make an appointment with us at monpod.com or Foot and Ankle Specialists PC. Dr. Scott E. Hughes, Dr. Greg P. Vogt, and Dr. Christine I. Tumele will assess your feet and recommend the best treatments for your feet. We are located in Lambertville and Monroe, MI.