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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
March 29, 2016
Tags: Bunions  

Bunions are a fairly common problem that we see often at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care. In fact, it’s estimated that approximately 33 percent of the population living in Western countries suffer from bunions.

Causes

Despite sometimes being portrayed as an “old person’s” complaint, a bunion is actually a deformity in the bone that can affect younger people too. When the big toe moves out of place, drifting toward the second toe, the joint at the side of the base of the big toe becomes enlarged. It will protrude beyond the normal width of the toe and therefore get irritated by footwear rubbing against it. The larger the bunion grows, the more irritated and tender the skin over the bunion becomes and the more painful it is to walk. Over time, bursitis and arthritis may also set in and the skin of the bottom of the foot may thicken, making getting around even more painful.

The single biggest cause of bunions is wearing shoes that are toe tight in the toes. Other causes include:

  • Faulty foot mechanics
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Pronated feet
  • Flat feet
  • Injury

While bunions themselves are not hereditary, some of the defective foot mechanics and muscular issues that lead to bunions can be genetic.

Treatment

Bunions do not go away without treatment. If you suspect you have a bunion, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah be able to diagnose your bunion after examining your toe and taking a complete medical history. X-rays may be ordered to help determine the cause and see how severe the deformity is.

Once the diagnosis of a bunion is confirmed, the foot doctor will determine the best treatment for you. In cases where the bunion is extremely severe, bunion surgery, or a bunionectomy, may be recommended to remove the bunion and realign the toe. There are however, several non-surgical treatments as well, including padding to protect the irritated area, splints and orthotic inserts to help correct joint position and exercises to increase joint mobility.

As with most foot and ankle issues, treating bunions in their early stages is easier than when they have progressed to a disabling condition. Make an appointment to get your bunion evaluated by contacting our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe office at your earliest convenience.

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