Bunions may not seem serious in the beginning, but this progressive foot deformity can eventually cause serious pain and mobility issues if left untreated. At Basin Podiatry in Odessa, Texas, board-certified podiatrist Hillary Brunner, DPM, offers conservative care like orthotics or specialized bunion surgery based on your needs. To schedule your consultation, call the office or click on the online booking tool today.
What are bunions?
A bunion is a hard swelling at the base of the big toe. The metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint includes two bones that normally meet in a fairly straight line. With a bunion, those bones start drifting apart to create this foot deformity.
What symptoms do bunions cause?
Bunions may not cause symptoms at first, but the joint moves further out of alignment over time, causing issues such as:
- Pain or soreness
- Big toe stiffness
- Red skin over the joint
- Hard bony bump at the base of the big toe (on the side)
- Corns or calluses where the big toe rubs against the second toe
Your big toe may drift strongly toward your other toes, possibly even sitting on top of your next toe.
Your MTP joint absorbs nearly 120% of your body weight with every step you take. A bunion can make it difficult for the joint to absorb that stress, which can disrupt your walking patterns and balance.
What causes bunions?
Experts aren’t sure what causes bunions, but in general, anything that puts excessive stress and pressure on your MTP joint can lead to a bunion.
You can inherit a foot type that’s prone to bunions, though you don’t inherit the bunions themselves. Wearing certain types of shoes (especially high heels) may also be a factor in bunion development.
People with inflammatory and neuromuscular conditions have a higher risk of bunions due to damage and weakening of the MTP joint.
How are bunions treated?
At Basin Podiatry, Dr. Brunner treats bunions of every stage, from the earliest hints of a problem to severe bunions that cause limping.
There are two main options for bunion treatment:
Conservative bunion treatments
Conservative bunion care relieves your symptoms with oral medication, taping, padding, and custom orthotics. Dr. Brunner may also recommend changing your shoes. Techniques like taping and orthotics can also prevent bunion enlargement.
In bunion surgery, Dr. Brunner expertly restores your MTP joint, and, where needed, the bones below it in the midfoot. She can remove the bony bump and place hardware that holds your joint in the proper position to prevent a recurrence.
If you have a bunion, Basin Podiatry can treat it promptly before symptoms worsen. Call the office or click on the online booking tool today.