Developing a bunion or bunionette (as it is called when it grows on the pinky toe) is a very common occurrence for many people. However, this foot abnormality is often ignored until the bunion has gotten larger and caused additional problems. If you notice that your big toe is pushing into your other toes and that a small bump is growing on the joint area, be sure to have it checked out by your podiatrist. When treated early, bunions are more malleable and toes can be straightened out more easily
SOME COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH BUNIONS CAN BE MINIMIZED OR AVOIDED WITH EARLY TREATMENT. THESE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
● Corns and calluses—These skin conditions can form on or next to the bunion causing pain and discomfort, especially where they rub against the inside of your shoes.
● Hammertoes—Developing a bunion also increases the formation of hammertoes in the toes that the bunion is pushing against.
● Ingrown toenail problems—The extra pressure put on the side of the toe by the misalignment increases pressure on the toenail. This stress can cause it to grow into the tender skin on the edge of your nail causing pain, swelling, and possible bacterial infection. Fungal toenail infections are also more likely to occur.
● Irritation and swelling—The hard, bony bump of a bunion can rub against the interior of your shoes causing redness and blistering.
Bunions may be caused by a mechanical instability in the toes that is caused by tendon imbalances.
Some of the treatments that can minimize any bunion pain and discomfort include wearing proper shoes with a wide toe box to accommodate the bunion bump and the use of insulating pads to decrease rubbing and blisters. Specially-made night splints and separation devices can be worn while you sleep and will help the toes to straighten.
If you are suffering with painful bunions, see your podiatrist early on for the best treatment and to avoid future complications. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle located in Henrico, Richmond, Hanover, Mechanicsville, Ashland and West Point Virginia. With access to advanced technologies, Dr. James Baldwin and his staff can help you manage all of your foot and ankle conditions. Call 804-273-1717 or make an appointment online today.