Although you've probably heard of bunions before, you might not be aware of what they are. You might not even realize you have them! At Oakton Foot & Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia have many patients who come to them with bony bumps on the inside of their feet and aren't sure how they got there or how to deal with them. To learn more about bunions, read on.
What are bunions?
A bunion appears to be a new lump that's developed on the instep of the foot just behind the big toe, but it's actually the joint in that area that has been pushed out of place over time. Affecting women more often than men, bunions can form due to arthritis or long-term wear of narrow and crowded shoes; bunions also appear to be a genetic issue. They can leave one or both of your feet looking deformed and can be uncomfortable, often rubbing against the inside of shoes or causing significant joint aches.
What can be done to treat my bunions?
Sometimes the best remedy for bunions is to re-evaluate the type of shoes you’re wearing. Having a professional shoe fitting will help to determine if you’re wearing the right size and width for your feet. Giving your toes room to move can make a big difference in the way your feet look and feel. Wearing cushions or pads inside your shoe will also help redistribute the pressure on your toe. Special splints can be worn on your foot to gradually guide your big toe back into the proper position. Your Fairfax podiatrist will show you how to put a bunion splint on correctly and how long to wear it each day.
When is surgery needed?
Your Fairfax podiatrist may recommend bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, if several months of the treatments listed above fail to bring any significant pain relief. Although there are several types of bunion surgery, the basic goal is to reposition the muscles and bones back to normal. The joint may need to be fused to avoid relapse. It's important to remember that bunionectomy should not be used for cosmetic correction due to the cost and recovery time involved with this and other foot surgeries.
If you have a bunion that's been bothering you, it's time to call Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, today!