A bunion is a bony swelling that occurs on the joint at the base of your big toe. It begins to form as some of the small bones in your foot slip out of place. When this happens, the end of your big toe is drawn towards your other toes forcing the joint on your big toe outwards. Here at Affiliated Podiatrists, Ltd. in Chicago, IL, our podiatrists specialize in treating bunions.
Signs and Symptoms of a Bunion
Indications that you have a bunion may include:
- A hard swelling at the base of your big toe
- Inflammation of the affected joint
- Callouses or corns between the big toe and the second toe
- Tenderness of the affected joint
- Inability to move your big toe
- Sharp pains in the affected joint that come and go
Often, bunions do not require medical treatment. However, you can benefit from seeing a podiatrist, particularly if you have:
- Persistent pain
- Difficulty wearing shoes
- Minimal movement of your big toe
What Causes Bunions?
Though the exact cause of a bunion is not known, medical specialists believe that the following factors are involved:
- Trauma to the foot
- Inherited gene
- Birth deformities
- Ill-fitting shoes
People with rheumatoid arthritis may also be prone to bunions.
Bunion Risk Factors
It’s possible that the following factors may increase your risk of bunions:
- Wearing high-heeled shoes that compress the toes
- Wearing shoes that are too narrow
- An inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Genes inherited from your parents
Possible Complications from Bunions
If left untreated, bunions may lead to more serious complications such as:
- Hammertoe: This condition causes an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe – usually the second, third or fourth toe. It can be painful and debilitating.
- Bursitis: This condition causes a build-up of fluid in the pads that cushion your toe’s joints. This causes the joints to become inflamed.
- Metatarsalgia: This condition causes inflammation and pain in the ball of your foot.
If you are suffering from bunions, call one of Affiliated Podiatrists' three offices:
- N. Central Ave Chicago, – (773) 202-8800
- W. Addison St Chicago – 773-696-4700
- N. Francisco Ave. Chicago – (773) 558-4799