Researchers estimate that about one in three Americans has a bunion. If you regularly experience pain near or around your big toe, and it affects your ability to walk, exercise, or go to work, treatment can provide lasting relief. At Christie Foot & Ankle, experienced podiatrist Drew Christie, DPM, and the team specialize in treating bunions. After an exam, they can make recommendations to help you feel better. To make an appointment, call the office in Greenwood, Indiana, or book online today.
A bunion is a visible bump that develops on the outside edge of your big toe. Bunions occur when the bones at the front of your foot become misaligned. Over time, that misalignment causes your metatarsophalangeal joint –– the joint at the base of your big toe –– to bulge outward. As the misalignment worsens, so does the severity of your pain.
Bunions can occur at any time, but they’re especially common in middle age. That’s especially true if you wear tight shoes or have an abnormal foot structure.
Symptoms of bunions include:
As the bunion grows, you might also experience a sensation of numbness in your big toe.
Several factors cause bunions, including pressure from the way you walk and the unique shape of your feet. Bunions typically develop slowly over an extended period, but it’s possible to exacerbate your symptoms by standing for long periods or wearing uncomfortable shoes.
To diagnose a bunion, Dr. Christie reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including when the pain started, if it's worse during certain activities, and if it responds to at-home treatments like ice or rest.
Next, he has you remove your shoes and socks and carefully examines your foot. Dr. Christie can identify a bunion with a quick visual exam, but he will also take a series of X-rays to assess the alignment of the bones at the front of your foot.
Bunion treatment depends on several factors, including your age, the severity of your symptoms, and their effect on your quality of life. If possible, Dr. Christie and the team recommend conservative treatments, like:
If you find it painful to walk or conservative treatments don’t provide lasting relief, Dr. Christie might recommend minimally invasive or traditional bunion surgery. During a bunionectomy, Dr. Christie uses special tools to realign the bones at the front of your foot and restore your big toe to the proper position.
To explore the different treatment options for bunions, make an appointment at Christie Foot & Ankle by calling the office or using the online booking feature today.