All About Bunions

In Western countries, it is estimated that 33 percent of the population suffer from bunions, so if you have a bunion, you are not alone! This toe deformity can be very painful, and it does not go away on its own. However, there are treatment options available. At the Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc., our doctors will relieve the pain and pressure caused by bunions, while also working toward stopping the progression of their growth. This is important, since an untreated bunion can lead to other conditions, including arthritis and bursitis. 

Bunions can also affect your other toes. When your big toe angles in toward your second toe, it can twist and rotate, which is called Hallus Abducto Valgus. Sometimes it will even overlap your third toe which is a condition known as Hallux Valgus. Hammertoe is yet another possibility. That’s why treatment is so essential. But first, what exactly is a bunion?

What is This Bump on My Big Toe?

A bunion is a large, protruding bump at the base of your big toe (known as themetatarsophalangeal joint). It is formed when your big toe is misaligned and pushes against the other toes, resulting in the bone and joint sticking out and causing friction against footwear. This constant rubbing, pressure, and irritation increases discomfort and pain over time, and the condition continues to worsen. If you think about it, every time you take a step, you are flexing that joint, so the bigger the bunion gets, the more it rubs, and the more it hurts.

Where Do Bunions Come From?

The main cause of this condition is the inherited structure of your foot. In other words, the deformity often runs in the family. Neuromuscular issues, injuries and conditions such as pronated feet or flat feet, can also factor in. Believe it or not, wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow can aggravate and contribute to the problem as well. 

Can Bunions Be Prevented?

Prevention is possible if you wear shoes that fit properly. Choose foot wear with wide or open toes. Also, if foot problems run in your family, it’s a good idea to keep track of how the shape of your foot develops over time. Taking good care of your feet throughout childhood and adolescence can put off the development of bunions. Finally, there are exercises you can do, like picking up small objects with your toes. Exercises such as this can actually strengthen them, and that helps them to avoid deformities.

Treatment for Bunions

So you have a bunion, now what do you do?

Well, there are several methods to reduce the pressure and pain that are caused by bunions. Protective padding can alleviate soreness and inflammation by eliminating friction with shoes. The right choice of foot wear can also make a big difference. You should never wear pointy or narrow shoes that squish your toes together. This accentuates the problem, which is why women who wear high heels are often the ones who suffer most from this deformity. 

Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. or Dr. Anthony Caristo may also prescribe orthotics— custom designed shoe inserts that can help correct the positioning of the foot and stabilize the joint. 

In addition, there are exercises you can do to help with joint mobility, and in some adolescent cases, splints worn at night can assist to align joints as well. 

For severe cases involving chronic pain, these treatments may not be enough to stop the bunion’s progression and surgery may be advised. The most common surgery, called a bunionectomy, entails removing the bunion and realigning the toe.

All of these treatments are available for you at the Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. So if you are suffering from a painful bunion, don’t wait. Visit one of our Delaware locations in Glasgow, Newark and Wilmington, or contact Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. at 302-623-4250, and start looking forward to pain-free days.

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Please call us at (302) 355-0056.
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Our Locations

Newark, DE Podiatrist
Advanced Foot and Ankle Center - Neuroscience & Surgery Institute of DE.
774 Christiana Road, Suite #105, Newark, DE 19713
(302) 355-0056

Glasgow Office
1400 Peoples Plaza, Suite #305, Newark, DE 19702
(302) 355-0056

Wilmington Office
1415 Foulk Road, Suite #101, Foulkstone Plaza, Wilmington, DE 19803
(302) 355-0056