Bunion Basics

Along with green eyes, olive-toned skin, or a muscular build, you inherited the tendency for joint problems in your big toe. What becomes of this tendency varies from person to person. Bunions run in families. One individual may slowly develop a bunion that causes no problems at all. Another may have a painful joint deformity before age 40. What accounts for these kinds of differences?

  • Basic foot structure. You can have more problems with bunions if you’ve got flat feet, your ankles turn in when you walk, or your natural gait tends to put more pressure on your big toe.
  • Tight-fitting shoes that put constant pressure on the big toe joint.
  • Injuries and arthritis can cause the joint at the base of the big toe to break down and move out of place.
  • A job that keeps you on your feet for many hours per day can also influence how quickly you develop bunions.

How to recognize a bunion
The most obvious sign of a bunion is a big toe that points toward your lesser toes rather than straight ahead. The bone at the base of the big toe will jut out, forming a “v” shape that points at your opposite foot. As time goes on, the “v” can become red and swollen. Wearing shoes may become painful, while just trying to bend your toe may become impossible.

Relief for bunion pain
Contact Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center if you’ve got a bunion that’s causing you problems. We’ll spend quality time with you to reduce your pain and stop the bunion from getting worse. Changes in footwear, physical therapy, custom orthotics, steroid injections, and medication to reduce inflammation can all help. A bunionectomy – surgery to realign the bones – may also be an option if your bunion is advanced. Call our Centreville office at (703) 996-3000 or contact us online for an appointment.

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