Posts for category: Foot Condition
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
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) 202-8800 or (773) 696-4700 to schedule an appointment at one of our two Chicago locations.
How your podiatrists in Chicago, IL, can help with bunion pain
Bunions can make it difficult to go about your day. Bunions appear as hard, bony lumps on the side of your big toe, and are usually caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow, as they cause your toes to crush together. High heels add to the problem by pushing your toes forward, which is why bunions are more common in women. With two convenient office locations in Chicago, IL, the podiatrists at Affiliated Podiatrists can treat your bunions and relieve your pain. Read on to learn more about bunions, and call Affiliated Podiatrists for direct treatment!
More about Bunions
Narrow footwear isn’t the only factor that causes bunions. They can also be caused by a genetic bone deformity in your feet, a foot injury or trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, or foot stress at work or from your activities.
For small bunions and minor bunion pain, you may get relief from a few simple treatments you can do at home. You can try:
- Icing your bunion several times during the day
- Taping around the bunion for additional cushioning
- Placing inserts or padding inside your shoes to support the bunion
- Changing to wider, more supportive footwear
- Taking Tylenol or ibuprofen to reduce swelling and pain
If you have a larger, moderate or severely painful bunion, it’s time to visit your Chicago podiatrists. There are several effective treatments they may recommend, including:
- Removing calluses and corns to reduce friction
- Custom-fit orthotics and footwear to add support
- Physical therapy and stretching to maintain mobility
- Night splints to help realign your toe and foot
- Surgical therapy to remove the bunion, known as a bunionectomy
Need Bunion Treatment In Chicago? Give Us a Call!
Don’t put up with bunion pain when help is just a phone call away. For more information about bunions and other common foot conditions, call Affiliated Podiatrists today at either (773) 202-8800 for the N. Central Ave location or (773) 696-4700 for the office on W. Addison St.