Bunions in McAllen & Weslaco, TX
What are Bunions?
Also known as a hallux valgus, bunions are bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe. Bunions are a common toe disorder that affects about a third of all adults in the US. They form due to the big toe pointing inward to the other toes of your feet. As a result, the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of your big toe points outward and forms a deformity by jutting out.
Bunions, if left untreated, can be the source of a lot of foot pain. Wearing narrow shoes aggravates and rubs against the skin over bunions. Walking or putting weight on the joint can lead to chronic pain over time. Bunionettes are bunions that form on the outer edge of the little toe. They may also be referred to as a "tailor's bunion." Your foot anatomy, genetics, and footwear all play a role in making you more predisposed to the formation of bunions on one or either of your feet.
Causes of Bunions
Bunions are caused by a bone deformity in your foot. They develop mostly in women, from wearing shoes that are too narrow. Shoes that crush the toes together force the big toe joint outward. It begins to rub on the inside of your shoe, causing friction, inflammation, and bunion formation. You are also at greater risk of bunion formation if you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
What You Can Do About Bunions
If you have a small bunion, there are a few options you can consider to try to get relief:
- Placing ice on the bunion to reduce swelling
- Taping the bunion to add support
- Placing padding inside your shoes to add cushion and protection
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and pain medication
- Changing to wider shoes with more room for your toes
Professional Treatments for Bunions
If you have a larger, painful bunion, it’s best to visit your podiatrist who may recommend:
- Custom-fit orthotics or footwear to help realign your toe and foot
- Physical therapy exercises and stretching to maintain flexibility
- Wearing pads or cushions inside your shoes
- Removing corns or calluses to eliminate friction
When Is Bunion Surgery Necessary?
Bunion surgery may be necessary if there is significant bone involvement, or in cases of moderate to severe bunion pain which is impacting your ability to wear shoes, walk, and stay active. During bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, the bunion is removed and your toe and foot are surgically realigned.