Bunion Breakdown

Bunion Breakdown

What comes to mind when you hear the word “bunions?” While many associate this painful condition with the elderly, in truth, the bony bumps can happen to anyone—at any age! Unsightly, painful, and even capable of causing long-term damage to your gait over time, bunions are a common condition requiring smart solutions for relief.

What Are Bunions?

You may have heard of bunions but are unsure of what they are or how they form. Bunions are bony bumps that form on the base of your big toe. This is a very common condition where your first digit slowly drifts toward the second. As it moves, the joint drifts out of alignment and begins to push outward, altering the shape of your foot. This condition generally develops because of an inherited structural deformity in the foot itself. Miniscule imperfections in your foot structure can cause the pressure of standing and walking to fall irregularly, putting extra weight on your joints, and slowly weakening your toe joint over time.

Bunion Beginnings

Nevertheless, there are usually contributing lifestyle influences that promote the development of bunions. Wearing high heels, shoes that are pointy, or shoes that are too tight in the toe box, can cause a bunion or make an existing one worse. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with adequate toe room and using simple treatments to reduce pressure on the big toe.  When the pain persists despite nonsurgical treatment, surgery will be required to correct the condition.

There is good news, though: Bunions don’t just appear overnight. They develop over a long period of time. Simply wearing different shoes that work with your foot shape or adding quality orthopedic inserts into the shoes you currently have can drastically reduce the amount of pressure you put on the affected joint and can even stop the growth of your bunion. You can also enact some lifestyle modifications to prevent pain from bunions, like losing weight to reduce pressure on your feet and doing some foot stretches to keep your foot joints in good condition. 

First Steps

However, if your bunion is at the point where you are dealing with daily pain or the bunion is affecting the way you walk, it’s time for an intervention. That’s where our Southlake Orthopaedics specialist, Dr. John Kirchner, foot/ankle surgeon comes in! Dr. Kirchner can perform a full examination of your foot to reveal the underlying structural issues causing the deformity and then order custom orthotics specified to your needs. These devices will take pressure off the affected area and can ease the pain you’re experiencing. He may order other methods, such as taping, padding, or splinting your foot in a manner that reduces stress on the joint or friction that is causing you pain

Surgical Solutions

If those measures aren’t working, and you’re still dealing with the pain associated with your bunion, it may be time to intervene surgically with a bunionectomy. Dr. Kirchner will carefully review your condition so that he can devise the most suitable solution for you. Your recovery time will vary according to the type of surgery you had-in some cases you may be able to walk again practically immediately, although full recuperation generally takes months.

Treat Your Feet Today

So don’t suffer from the pain of your bunion for one more day—request an appointment today and contact Dr. Kirchner at Southlake Orthopaedics by filling out this form. You may also call us at 205-985-4111. 

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