A bunion is attention-catching with its characteristic protrusion from the base of your big toe. Never is a bunion more apparent than in the summer, when you eschew closed sneakers for open sandals and flip-flops.
A bunion is not purely a physical problem, its effects go deep and can cause severe foot pain as well as balance and gait issues. Depending on how advanced it is, a bunion can make walking a very painful ordeal. A foot and ankle specialist will tell you that comfort is an important consideration when it comes to choosing shoes, along with proper foot and ankle support.
A bunion is known as hallux valgus, and forms when the bone or tissue at the end of the big toe is out of alignment, usually due to uncomfortable shoes that force the toes in an unnatural position. Early bunion treatment is applied to slow its progression.
Conservative Treatment Methods for A Bunion
When you begin treatment for bunions early on, you can effectively find relief from conservative treatments, such as:
There are people lucky enough for whom wearing comfortable and supportive shoes can effectively stop bunion growth in its tracks. Shoes for people with bunions are spacious in the front, have proper arch support and cushioning, and are low-heeled.
A large percentage of patients with bunion problems are overweight. Excessive weight adds pressure to the base of the big toe, which keeps your body in balance. Weight loss does not only reduce painful symptoms of a bunion but also benefits overall health.
Use Gel Pads and Custom Orthotics
Gel-filled pads placed over the bunion usually helps ease symptoms. There are also mass-produced orthotics you can buy at your local drugstore, but since no two people have the exact same foot anatomy and issues, custom orthotics are a better choice. Foot and ankle specialists are able to provide custom orthotics to patients to address their specific foot issues and make their shoes more comfortable.
Use a Splint
For bunions that hurt at night, the foot and ankle doctor may recommend that you wear a splint at night to ease the discomfort. Make sure to splint under a medical professional’s guidance.
Bunions Requiring Surgery
For bunions that are of considerable size and cause severe pain and other symptoms for an extended period of time (for over a year), foot and ankle specialists usually require surgery. Bunions often contribute to the development of other foot and ankle issues, and the more issues, the more extensive and complex the surgical procedure will be. A foot and ankle surgeon can shift the big toe and other soft tissues back to their normal position, thereby removing the bump and relieving the symptoms.
Bunion Treatment in Central Maryland
The knowledgeable and highly-skilled foot and ankle specialists at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) are able to successfully relieve your pain symptoms using a combination of traditional and highly-advanced treatment methods. But first, we have to thoroughly evaluate your condition to determine the best course of treatment.
To request an appointment with our foot and ankle doctors, call OACM at (410) 644-1880 or submit a request, and we will get back to you immediately. We look forward to serving you in any of our locations in Columbia, Eldersburg, or Catonsville.