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Bunions: What You Should Know

In most cases, bunions are fairly easy to spot: if there is an enlargement of the bone at the base of your big toe, there is a good chance that it’s a bunion. While bunions aren’t always harmful –if painful and left unattended, they can become more serious.

Bunions are one of the most common forefoot deformities. The medical term is, “Hallux Valgus,” which means, “turning outward of the great toe.” Bunions are caused by faulty mechanics of the foot –where an imbalance of the forces on the big toe causes the bunion to form. One of the main factors is poor fitting shoes. It’s important to wear shoes that aren’t too restrictive, as this can cause the bunion to become increasingly worse.

While you will most likely be able to tell you have a bunion due to the disfigurement of your foot, there are other symptoms you can be on the lookout for as well. These include:

  • Redness or swelling
  • Severe discomfort in your foot, especially in the big toe area
  • Painful corns or calluses
  • Restrictive movement of the big toe

While most bunions are not harmful, if they develop or have a fluid filled sack, known as a bursitis, it could lead to infection. The bursitis will be very painful, and you should not attempt to drain it. Instead seek medical attention immediately.

If you have a bunion you can accommodate it by wearing wide fitting shoes that leave plenty of room for you to stretch your toes, and by ensuring that your shoe has good structural support to decrease the chances of it becoming worse. It’s also best to avoid high-heels when possible.

If your bunion becomes painful, treatment options are available. These options include padding or splinting, incorporating shoe supports, medication, or surgery. The treatment that is right for you will depend on the severity of the bunion, whether or not it is causing pain, and whether other previous treatments failed to address the issue.

For more information on bunion treatment in Houston contact Dr. Anthony Lamarra of Shepherd Square Podiatry today.