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Posts for tag: Bunions

By Oakton Foot
January 26, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

Thinking you have a bunion? It could be. These foot deformities start small but often expand into larger problems that impact gait, comfort, and appearance. At Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, our podiatrists successfully treat bunions. Dr. Steven Vetter or Dr. Jugal Dharia can help your feet, too.

A progressive problem

A bunion is a prominent, bony bump on the side of your foot. It forms at the base of the big toe, and over time, angles that toe toward or even over additional toes. Pain, friction, corns, calluses, and impaired walking result. Some people even get ingrown toenails, reports Harvard Health.

How do bunions form?

Foot structure has something to do with this common podiatric problem. In other words, if your mom has bunions, you may develop them, too.

However, other issues contribute to bunion formation:

  1. Narrow, high-heeled shoes with poor arch support
  2. Age (middle years and up)
  3. Obesity
  4. Gait issues, such as overpronation
  5. Arthritis or other degenerative diseases, such a polio

Getting treatment

The first step is an examination at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA. Your podiatrist will look at your feet and at how you walk. He may take X-rays, too.

Your treatment plan may include several simple interventions. Bunionectomy, or removal of the bump and re-alignment of the big toe, happens only if conservative measures fail to improve comfort and ability to walk properly.

Your care plan may involve:

  • Shoe padding to reduce friction and irritation
  • Corn and callus removal by your podiatrist
  • Strapping to align the toe at night
  • Custom-crafted shoe orthotics to cushion and accommodate the bump
  • Cortisone injections to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Non-prescription analgesics, such as ibuprofen
  • Massage with a moisturizing oil or lotion
  • Heat or ice packs (don't put them directly on your skin, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
  • Stretching exercises
  • Keeping a proper body weight
  • Wearing shoes with low heels, adequate arch and heel support, and adequate room in the toe boxes

Come see us

At Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA, your podiatrists, Dr. Steven Vetter and Dr. Jugal Dharia, would like to help your feet look and feel their best. After all, they are indispensable!. Call for bunion treatment at (703) 352-8888.

By Oakton Foot
July 13, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  
BunionsIf you’re dealing with a bunion then you know that this pain is no joke. If you’re dealing with a throbbing, aching pain at the base of your big toe then you could very well be dealing with a bunion. This problem, a common complaint among women, usually develops gradually over many years so many people don’t even realize that they have a bunion until symptoms start to appear. While a bunion will not go away without surgery, the good news is that a podiatrist is usually all you need to manage your symptoms without resorting to surgery. Here are some ways to effectively manage your bunions:
  • Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling
  • Ice the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day to also alleviate pain and swelling (conversely, you may choose to soak your bunion in warm water to ease symptoms)
  • Consider getting prescription orthotics (shoe inserts) to place within your shoes to take the pressure off the deformed joint and to reduce pain with walking or standing
  • Wear a night splint, which will straighten out the big toe while you sleep to reduce morning pain and stiffness
  • Only wear shoes that have a wide toe box that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion. Avoid high heels and shoes with pointed toes.
  • Perform stretching exercises every day to alleviate stiffness and to improve mobility and range of motion within the feet
  • Apply a non-medicated pad over the bunion before putting on shoes to prevent friction and the formation of a callus
Conservative treatment is typically the first course of action when treating a bunion. A patient will go through this home care plan to see if it alleviates their symptoms; however, if symptoms persist or get worse then it’s time to see your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will be able to examine the bunion to determine the severity and to create a treatment plan that will help you manage your pain.

Should I consider bunion surgery?
Most patients won’t require bunion surgery to manage their symptoms; however, if your bunion pain is severe, the deformity is large, or if conservative and nonsurgical care isn’t helping you manage your symptoms then it may be time to talk with your podiatrist about whether or not you should get bunion surgery.

Worried that you might be dealing with a bunion? Experiencing regular bunion pain? If so, a foot and ankle professional can assess the problem and provide you with a customized treatment plan to help you get your bunion pain under control.
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!

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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