A bunion is a deformity of the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, or a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. The tip of the big toe is often pulled inward toward the second toe as the joint moves out of place. This can impact your ability to move your toe and cause pain in your foot. If you think you may have this common condition, learn more about what it means and what you can do about it below.
A Guide to Bunions
Why They Form
A bunion forms as the MTP joint is pushed out of place. It’s often caused by foot stress, such as by routinely wearing the wrong shoes. For example, high heels push the big toe inward and place a lot of weight on the joint. The deformity may be present at birth or may develop later on as a result of an inherited problem that affects the foot’s bone structure. Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition, can also increase the risk.
If they are left untreated, bunions can cause other foot health complications. Bursitis may inflame the fluid-filled pads that cushion the bones around the joint and cause pain in the foot. Hammertoe is a deformity that occurs when the second toe is crowded and gets an unusual bend in the middle joint. Metatarsalgia causes swelling and pain in the ball of the foot.
How They’re Treated
Conservative treatments can be used to treat mild bunions. You can switch to comfortable shoes that offer extra support and room for your toes, or add inserts that help distribute the pressure evenly across the foot.
Your podiatrist may recommend a surgical treatment as well if you are still experiencing pain. Surgery can be used to remove part of the bone in the toe and straighten the toe, remove swollen tissue, or keep the joint straight by fusing the bones together.
The professionals at Eastern CT Foot Specialists treat bunions in Norwich and North Windham, CT. Their effective diagnosis and treatment process will relieve your pain and improve your foot function. They will work with your insurance provider to help secure complete or partial coverage for your treatment. Learn more about their services online, and schedule an appointment of the Norwich location at (860) 887-3538 or the North Windham office at (860) 456-9593.