FAQs About Bunions

By Providence Foot Health Center
August 19, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

If you have a bunion, you probably want to know more about this condition. Below are the most frequently asked questions that Dr. James Mintzer and his team get about bunions at Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC. Bunions are a frequent cause of foot pain that we care for and can help guide you on the best treatment strategy.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion starts with the dislocation of your big toe joint. In most cases, this causes the appearance of a bump, or protrusion, on your big toe joint. This protrusion is generally located at the base of the big tie on the inside of your foot. The dislocation of the joint causes the big toe to point toward the smaller toes. A severe case can develop a condition known as crossover toe where the big toe displaces enough that it lays on top of the second toe.

What Causes Bunions?

The dislocation of the big toe joint is the result of poor foot mechanics, anatomically deformed or misshapen feet. Barring congenital defects in the feet, generally, the dislocation comes from years of excessive stress placed on the feet and toes. Many people mistakenly think that ill-fitting shoes are to blame. Wearing shoes that don't fit well can lead to the worsening of a bunion, but it's not the cause of bunion developing initially. 

What Are the Symptoms?

The physical deformity of a bony protrusion, or bump, that develops inside your foot is not the only symptom of a bunion. Other symptoms can accompany a bunion, such as:

  • Corns and callouses
  • Pain when straightening the toe
  • Inability to wear regular shoes
  • Numbness in the big toe

How Is It Treated?

The most commonly recommended treatment strategy is surgery to remove the bunion. This procedure is called bunionectomy and will correct the anatomy of the foot. While surgical intervention will likely be needed for your bunion in Washington, DC, there are conservative, non-surgical steps that you and your podiatrist can take to manage bunions.

Can I Do Anything To Delay the Need for Surgery?

The list below may stop or slow down the progression of a bunion. Some suggestions from our podiatrist are:

  • Always wear shoes that are roomy in the toe area. 
  • Go shoe shopping in the evening, as our feet slightly swell in the later hours of the day. 
  • Have your feet measured every time you buy new shoes. Our feet flatten with age and this may require buying a larger-sized shoe.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Wear custom orthotics in your shoes.
  • Both prescription and OTC anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication

Contact Us

If you have a question that wasn't answered above, don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mintzer at Providence Foot Health Center. We will answer any further questions you have about bunions in Washington, DC. You can reach us by calling (202) 269-4062.

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