17 Feb So, You Have Bunions. Now What?
You may have noticed pain and bump on your big toe. After a quick search on the internet of your symptoms, you will quickly find that you are suffering from bunions. Bunions are extremely common amongst people in the United States. There are a plethora of different causes, but all end in the same result. Bunions must be treated and ideally as soon as possible. The longer they are allowed to last, the worse they will become. Fortunately, since bunions are such a common problem, there are minimally invasive treatments that now exist to fix the problem easily.
A majority of bunions are inherited. It has to do with a person’s overall foot shape, and they tend to worsen as the person ages. However, foot stress or injuries can also lead to bunions. Wearing tight or poorly fitting shoes can make pre-existing bunions even worse. Patients who have bunions tend to have similar symptoms. Some of these symptoms include an unsightly bump on the outside of the toe, pain in the toe, swelling and redness, and limited mobility of the toe. While these symptoms may start out as tolerable, they tend to worsen with age.
When bunions initially start, there may not be a need for medical attention. However, if they continue to worsen, medical attention sooner rather than later is key. Avoiding high heel shoes and poor-fitting shoes can help to lessen the progression of the disease. Most doctors can diagnose bunions simply by examining the foot. X-rays can help confirm the diagnosis. There are small changes you can make on your own such as padding your shoes, changing the type of shoes you wear, applying ice, and taking over the counter medication for any pain. However, sometimes, surgery is necessary.
Fortunately, minimally invasive bunion repair now exists for patients who can not fix their bunions through conservative options. Minimally invasive surgery allows for a shorter downtime, less chance of scaring, and much less discomfort than normal surgery. Initially, patients may notice decreased motion as the toe is healing. However, with proper physical therapy, over time, patients should regain full range of motion in their big toe. They should also notice significantly less pain, the better appearance of the toe, and the ability to wear any shoe they please.
If you think you might have bunions, do not fret. Bunions are a very common occurrence and are treated every single day. While some bunions do not require treatment or are manageable at home, some do require the care of a surgeon. Minimally invasive surgery has made fixing bunions much easier with far less risk and pain for the patient. While some bunions are hereditary, there are things you can do to prevent developing bunions or worsening pre-existing bunions. Avoid wearing high heels or pointed-toe shoes whenever possible, ensure your shoes fit properly and are not too snug, and keep an eye on any pain that develops in the toe region of your foot. Bunions may be uncomfortable, but fortunately, they are fixable.