Bunions are bony protrusions that form on the side of the foot and can cause significant pain and discomfort. Your level of pain or discomfort can increase throughout the day as the bunions rub against the inside of the shoes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent bunions from developing. Contact Southwest Foot Institute in Phoenix for help preventing bunions. For patients with bunions, our skilled podiatrist, Dr. Michael Dershowitz, can also discuss treatment options.
What are Bunions?
Bunions are bony formations that develop on the side of the foot near the big toe when the metatarsophalangeal joint comes out of place. The metatarsophalangeal joint is the joint that connects the big toe to the foot. When the joint becomes dislocated, the big toe tends to slant toward the smaller ones which causes the toe joint to protrude at the side of the foot. This protrusion is referred to as a bunion. Bunions can be painful when they become inflamed due to the friction caused by rubbing against the interior of footwear.
There are many steps you can take to prevent bunion development. One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent bunions is to wear shoes that are not too tight. Tight-fitting shoes can cause the toes to become cramped or pinched, which can result in the metatarsophalangeal joint becoming dislocated. In addition to avoiding shoes that are too tight, it is also best to avoid wearing shoes with pointed toes or high heels.
Another helpful method for preventing bunions is to strengthen the feet by performing foot exercises regularly. Foot exercises also improve joint functioning, which can reduce the chances of the metatarsophalangeal joint becoming dislocated. For individuals with an irregular step pattern that puts strain on the metatarsophalangeal joint, custom orthotics that correct foot positioning can also be helpful.
Bunions will not go away on their own so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Left untreated, bunions can become increasingly more painful and even lead to other foot problems, such as the development of hammertoe. We have several options for treating bunions at our office in Phoenix, including:
- Removal of corns and calluses on the feet
- Foot exercises to improve joint functioning
- Custom orthotics to stabilize the toe joint
- The use of a splint to realign the toe joint
- Protective padding in footwear to reduce friction
- Surgery to realign the metatarsophalangeal toe joint
- Surgical removal of the bunion(s)
It is possible to prevent bunion development and we can help. Our knowledgeable podiatrist can provide guidance on bunion prevention, as well as recommend specific treatment methods, if needed. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Dershowitz for the prevention or treatment of bunions, call Southwest Foot Institute in Phoenix, AZ, at (602) 340-8686. We also have a convenient office location in Glendale.