Bunions affect 23% of adults, causing the hallmark bump on the side of your foot. Without treatment, bunions get progressively worse, potentially leading to arthritis and long-term pain. Steven N. Klein, DPM, uses a range of nonsurgical treatments to relieve bunion pain and correct the problem, recommending surgery only when necessary. If you need help for a bunion, call one of the offices in Mountain View or Redwood City, California, or book an appointment online today.
A bunion, also called hallux valgus, describes a bone deformity that develops in your big toe. The problem begins where the big toe bone meets the long bone in your foot, the metatarsal. At this junction, the metatarsal moves outward and the toe moves inward.
This movement causes an abnormal bend in the joint between the two bones, forcing it to jut out. The bend creates the classic sign of a bunion, which is the bump on the side of your foot. Without treatment, the deformity gets progressively worse, and your bunion gradually gets larger.
Bunions are often caused by an inherited structural problem in your foot. This leads to an imbalance that gradually causes the bunion deformity.
The problem may be related to muscle imbalances, unusual foot mechanics, or possibly a joint that’s too mobile. People diagnosed with inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of developing bunions.
Wearing tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes can aggravate an existing bunion or accelerate bunion growth. But these actions don’t cause the bunion.
The primary symptom of a bunion is the bump on the side of your foot. You may also experience:
You’re most likely to experience these symptoms when you wear shoes that are too tight or have pointed toes.
Bunions will not go away on their own. Without treatment, they just get worse. Some people find that their bunions enlarge slowly, while others experience a rapid progression.
Dr. Klein customizes your bunion treatment based on the extent of your pain and the severity of your bunion. Your treatment may include:
Wearing shoes that fit properly goes a long way toward preventing your bunion from getting worse.
Orthotic inserts are designed to go inside your shoes, where they offload the pressure on your bunion.
Specially designed bunion pads cushion the painful area, making your shoes more comfortable.
Anti-inflammatory medications may help alleviate your pain.
If other treatments can’t relieve your pain, or if your bunion gets worse, Dr. Klein may suggest surgery. He can use surgery to eliminate the bump, restore normal bone alignment, and repair soft tissue problems.
If you develop a bunion, call Steven N. Klein, DPM, or schedule an appointment online today.