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Posts for tag: Bunions

By Steven R Vetter, DPM
September 30, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Bunions  

With the ability to cause nagging discomfort throughout the day and prohibit daily movements as simple as walking, bunions can quickly turn from a barely noticeable bump on your toe, to a painful deformity that detracts from your over wellbeing. Fortunately, if caught early, you can prevent this podiatric issue from developing into a serious problem. Read on to learn if you could be suffering from this condition, and whether you should take a visit to your local podiatrist.


Signs That You May Have a Bunion

Generally forming on the side of your big toe, bunions are hard, bony lumps that are often caused by wearing poorly-fitted shoes (especially high heels), having genetic predispositions, or experiencing a foot injury. If you think that you may have a bunion, be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • A bony protrusion at the base of your toe
  • A generally red discoloration
  • A feeling of tightness in previously comfortable shoes

The above-listed symptoms describe the beginning stages of a bunion, a point during which your podiatrist will likely recommend a conservative approach to treatment. However, you may require more extensive medical care if you begin to notice these signs:

  • Persistent pain and swelling
  • Periodic numbness of the foot
  • Restricted and slowed movement of the toe/foot



For less serious bunion cases, ones in which there isn’t pain yet and movement is still unrestricted, your podiatrist may recommend:

  • Soaking your foot in warm water
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Aspirin
  • Wearing appropriate shoe inserts
  • Avoiding tight-fitting footwear

In severe bunion cases, your podiatrist will likely recommend a more rigorous treatment approach in order to alleviate pain and increase mobility. Some of these options include:

  • Custom-made orthotics to maintain toe alignment
  • Regular physical therapy and a specialized exercise regiment
  • Bunionectomy, a surgery to remove the bunion and realign the foot (this is only necessary in the most extreme of cases)


Concerned? Contact Us

If you feel that bunions are disrupting your life, then take the pro-active approach and schedule an appointment at our office to learn how to regain your health.

By Oakton Foot and Ankle Center
May 03, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions   Bunion Surgery  

A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.

A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.

The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:

  • Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
  • Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
  • Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
  • Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
  • Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
  • Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
  • Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition

For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.

When should someone consider bunion surgery?

As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:

  • Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
  • Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
  • You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
  • Your bunion is affecting your quality of life

It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.

By Oakton Foot & Ankle Center
August 10, 2018
Category: Foot Issues
Tags: Bunions  

BunionsDo you need podiatric help from your Fairfax, VA?

A hammertoe is a condition that usually affects the second, third, fourth, and/or fifth toes. Hammertoes looks like an upside-down V because they are bent at the first joint of the digit, and are more common in females than males.

More About Hammertoes

The symptoms suffered vary. You may suffer from:

  • Formation of corns on the joint
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Pain due to pressure from footwear on hammertoe
  • Redness and swelling of hammertoe
  • Restricted motion of the toe joint

Types of Hammertoes

Like many things, hammertoes come in different types:

  • Flexible hammertoes: They are moveable at the joint
  • Rigid hammertoes: This is when tendons tighten

There are several causes of this abnormal foot growth:

  • Wearing tight shoes
  • Pressures on tendons and joints
  • Heredity, trauma, and arthritis
  • Improper balance of the muscles in toes develops

Advice from your Fairfax Podiatrist

Foot issues can have simple solutions, while others if left too long, may cause severe problems. Here are some tips from your podiatrist

  • Wear padded shoes
  • Apply ice packs several times a day to help reduce pain and swelling
  • Wear loose-fitted shoes
  • Place a non-medicated pad around the hammertoe to decrease pressure on the area
  • Use medication prescribed by your doctor
  • Ask your doctor about orthotic devices
  • Consider your surgical options if your foot issue deteriorates too much

Hammertoe Prevention

You need to actively work on eliminating pain. Here are few tips:

  • Wear supportive shoes to help prevent deformities if hammertoes may be related to a hereditary problem in your foot mechanics
  • Orthotics are a great preventative method to stop the progression or formation of hammertoes

Hammertoe Treatment

There are many non-surgical hammertoe treatments that can be done depending on the severity of your hammertoe.

  • Padding corns and calluses- There are pads designed to shield corns from irritation that your podiatrist may recommend.
  • Changes in footwear- Avoid high heels and make sure to get properly fitting shoes that feel comfortable and have a low heel.
  • Splinting/Strapping- A splint or small strap may be applied to realign the toe.

If you have any questions or concerns, call your Fairfax, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vetter, today! Don't let pain persist, see your doctor as soon as possible. Allowing an untreated hammertoe to persist may lead to surgical treatment options, so make an appointment to talk about hammertoe treatments today!

By Oakton Foot & Ankle Center
June 27, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

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 bunionsOakton 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!

By Oakton Foot & Ankle Center
April 27, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

BunionsWhat is a Bunion?

Are you dealing with a bunion? A bunion is a protrusion of the bone at the base of the big toe. While a bunion may seem like a bump, according to the (APMA) American Podiatric Medical Association a bunion is actually the enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. While bunions are a common foot disorder, it is not something that you should ignore as bunions can cause discomfort and become inflamed if left untreated.

What Causes Bunions?

Bunions can be hereditary and aggravated by the shoes you wear, especially high heels or shoes that don’t have enough room for your toes. Certain factors can also contribute to the development of bunions, such as if you have flat feet or low arches or if your feet pronate (when the ankles roll in towards each other during movement and cause excessive and prolonged pressure on the joints in the feet). If you are dealing with bunions, or think that you are, it’s important to seek help from a qualified podiatrist to get the care you need to relieve your pain and discomfort.

How a Podiatrist Can Help

Your podiatrist may recommend certain conservative at home steps you can take to minimize the discomfort. The first thing they may recommend is that you look at or change the kind of shoes you wear. It’s important to find shoes that are wide enough to accommodate your toes. Shoes such as high heels are likely to make the problem worse. Bunion pads can also help with your discomfort.
Severe bunion pain can restrict your mobility. Untreated bunions can continue to get worse if you don’t do something about them and can lead to other issues such as calluses and corns, or you may experience pain or redness on the site of the bunion, as well as swelling.
Other treatment options include orthotics or a combination of physical therapy and medication to relieve pressure and inflammation of the bunion. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to resolve the issue.

Prevention is Key

We all like to remain active, and oftentimes it is the result of this activity that can make your bunion pain worse. You should visit your podiatrist if you notice any issues so they can be caught and treated as early as possible. Call our office today.

Contact us 

Oakton Foot & Ankle Center, PLLC

Fairfax, VA Podiatrist
Oakton Foot and Ankle Center
10721 Main St., Suite #3500
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 352-8888
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