If you notice a bony, painful bump near your big toe, it could be a bunion. Bunions are easy to treat in their early stages, but when left untreated, they can cause significant pain and deformity in your feet. At Park Center Foot and Ankle Clinic, with locations in Boise and Meridian, Idaho, board-certified podiatrist Randy Lowe, DPM, and the team can help you adapt to early-stage bunions with non-surgical and current surgical techniques. Dr. Lowe provides the advanced tri-planar surgical procedure. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone to learn more.
Bunions are small, bony bumps that develop on the joint at the base of your big toe. They form when your big toe gets pushed up against the neighboring toe. This causes the joint of your big toe to grow in size and protrude out. Generally, bunions appear red and feel very sore. Bunions are also sometimes called hallux valgus deformities, or great toe deformities.
There are a variety of other foot deformities affecting the big toe and other parts of the foot that are similar to bunions, such as:
A tailor’s bunion is a smaller bunion, or bunionette, that forms at the base of your little toe.
Hallux rigidus, or a stiff big toe, refers to a big toe deformity that forms at the base of the big toe, much like a bunion. It typically develops in adults ages 30-60 and is common in arthritis patients. If you have hallux rigidus, you can’t bend your big toe up and down.
Wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow at the toes can lead to bunions or cause them to worsen. In some rare cases, the natural shape of your foot, an inherited defect, may cause bunions to form. There’s also a variety of risk factors that increase your chances of developing bunions, including:
To prevent bunions from forming, choose comfortable, well-fitting shoes and practice good foot hygiene.
Be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lowe as soon as you notice signs of a bunion. Early-stage bunions are the easiest to treat and get worse over time without intervention.
You may be able to treat your bunion by changing your shoes. Dr. Lowe and his team can recommend comfortable, supportive shoes that leave enough room for your toes.
You may also benefit from orthotics, which can keep your toes in the correct position and reduce pressure on the bunion. Dr. Lowe makes his own custom orthotics for patients in-house.
If you’re in significant pain, having trouble walking or wearing shoes, or if your bunion doesn’t improve after changing your footwear, more advanced treatment may be necessary. This outpatient procedure fixes the alignment of your feet.
Don’t wait until a bunion is urgent to get treatment. Schedule an appointment at Park Center Foot and Ankle Clinic online or over the phone.