Learn How Can a Podiatrist Help With Bunions
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is often referred to as a bump on the joint at the base of the big toe, the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. A bunion forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place due to a congenital deformity, or through trauma.
How to Know If I Have A Bunion
Once a bunion forms, it forces the big toe to bend toward the others, often causing a painful lump of bone to form on the foot. If left untreated, bunions can become extremely painful, as this joint carries a lot of the body’s weight while walking. The MTP joint itself may become stiff and sore, making the wearing of shoes difficult or impossible. A bunion can also occur on the outside of the foot along the little toe. That sort of deformity is called a “bunionette,” or a “tailor’s bunion”.
Causes of Bunions
Although many people believe bunions are caused by wearing shoes, that is not the case. While ill-fitting shoes may aggravate and progress the condition of a bunion, bunions form when the normal balance of forces exerted on the joints and tendons of the foot are disrupted. Bunions are brought about by years of abnormal motion and pressure on the MTP joint. So, you see, bunions are the symptom of faulty foot development and mechanics. They are usually caused by our inherited foot type and the way we walk.
Other causes of bunions are foot injuries, neuromuscular disorders, or congenital deformities. Did you know that if you have flat feet or low arches, arthritis or other inflammatory joint disease, or have blood relatives with bunions, you are more prone to developing bunions? Also, certain occupations, such as ballet dancers, will often develop this condition.
Symptoms of Bunions
- Redness, swelling, or pain at or near the MTP joint
- Development of a swelling, callus, or firm bump on the outside edge of the foot at the base of the big toe.
- Restricted or painful motion of the big toe.
- Development of hammertoes or calluses under the ball of the foot.
- Corns or other irritations caused by the overlap of the first and second toes.
Do I Need to Visit a Podiatrist (A Foot Doctor)?
Although there are over-the-counter home treatments for bunions that may provide you with some temporary relief, they will not resolve bunions. In fact, using home treatments may cause you to delay seeking treatment from a podiatrist, causing your bunions to progress to a more serious condition.
If you find that the pain in the joint at the base of your big toe persists, especially for more than three weeks, you should seek podiatric medical attention. Bunions tend to get larger and more painful if left untreated, making non-surgical treatment less of an option.
Find a Podiatrist in Central Maryland Today!
To see if that painful bump at the base of your big toe is a bunion, and how it might be treated, just contact the podiatry professionals at the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics. Call (410) 644-1880 or request an appointment online. Don’t wait, because if it is a bunion, it will only get worse over time!