Hallux valgus, better known as bunions, is an enlargement of the inner portion of the joint at the base of the big toe. This can cause pain, tenderness, and redness near the big toe. Movement can worsen the pain, and overtime, the misalignment can become worse. Several conditions have been linked to bunions, with genetics playing a role as well. These include flat feet, obesity, abnormal bone structures, and overly flexible ligaments. Those of European descent are more likely to suffer from bunions. Shoes that aren’t wide enough and high heels can exacerbate bunions. While not all bunions require surgery, it is important to see a podiatrist first who can observe the severity of the deformation and provide treatment.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why do Bunions Form?
Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form
How are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Plymouth Meeting and Ambler, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Bunions