Bunions are not just unattractive—they can also cause pain and even affect your ability to walk, exercise, and even drive in severe cases. If a bunion is large enough, it can even make it difficult to fit into your shoes! In most cases, bunions can be managed and treated conservatively with just a few lifestyle adjustments and modifications. Unfortunately, bunions can also get progressively worse over time, causing pain and putting you at risk for joint damage. Here at Affiliated Podiatrists, Ltd. in Chicago, IL, our podiatrists offer diagnostic and treatment options for bunions and other foot and ankle injuries and conditions—read on to learn how we can help your condition.
What Exactly is a Bunion?
Bunions are caused by damage to the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, and manifest themselves as bumps at the base of the big toe, sometimes going so far as to curve the big toe away from the joint and towards the other toes. Bunions can be painful and cause symptoms such as swelling, redness, calluses, and corns due to the friction between the bunion and your shoes. Arthritis in the MTP joint can also limit your range of motion and make movement painful.
What Causes Bunions?
Anyone can develop a bunion without an obvious underlying reason, but there are some factors that can increase your risk and make you more susceptible to bunions. Some of the biggest risk factors include:
- Wearing high heels and narrow shoes that crowd the toes
- Spending a lot of time on your feet
- Heredity and family history
- Have flat feet/low arches
- An injury to the joint
How We Can Help
Generally, depending on the size of the bunion and the severity of your symptoms, our podiatrists initially recommend conservative treatments such as applying ice, taking medication (ibuprofen or cortisone), using a splint, or wearing supportive insoles/orthotics. However, if you have extensive joint damage, surgery is sometimes recommended to remove damaged tissue and repair the joint. To decide which treatment is best for your situation, we will examine your bunion during a consultation at one of our Chicago offices. At this point, we will then discuss your options with you in order to determine the best course of action.
For more information about your risk for developing bunions and the treatment options available to you, contact Affiliated Podiatrists, Ltd. by dialing (773) 631-2079 or (773) 696-4700 to schedule an appointment at one of our two Chicago locations.