The Facts About Bunions

Genetics can be fascinating. It’s fun to see where your blue eyes came from or who else in your family is as double jointed as you are. However, there are some things that we inherit that aren’t quite as fun. In fact, did you know that bunions are often caused by an inherited foot structure? Before you start shaking your fists at genetics, there are ways to treat your bunions so that you can live a pain-free life.

What is a Bunion? 

Foot with BunionBunions are a bone deformity that causes the joint at the base of the big toe to become enlarged. This common foot condition inflicts about 33 percent of those in Western countries.

While genetics has a lot to do with it, bunions can also be made worse by foot injuries, flat feet, pronating, and even improper footwear. If you find yourself squeezing your feet into some snug heels, you might want to think again. Because bunions develop slowly, taking care of your feet during childhood and early adulthood can pay off later in life. Keep track of the shape of your feet as they develop over time, especially if foot problems run in your family.

Exercising your feet can strengthen them. Learn to pick up small objects with your toes. Wear shoes that fit properly and that do not cramp or pinch your toes. Women should avoid shoes with high heels or pointed toes.

What does a Bunion feel like? 

While bunions might not seem like a serious condition, they can cause enough pain and discomfort that even walking can be a challenge. Over time, all the rubbing and friction from even just everyday walking can cause the bunion to swell and become irritated. Gradually, you might even notice that walking around normally is a challenge. You may also see that the skin around the bunion is red and shiny from the constant rubbing.

How are Bunions Treated? 

Unfortunately, while it might seem easier to leave the bunion alone, this condition won’t resolve itself. That’s where your Burnsville, MN foot and ankle specialist comes into play! We want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible, so we have created a treatment plan that not only helps eliminate pain and irritation but also stops the bunion from growing.

Some ways we treat your bunion pain in Burnsville include:

  • Orthotic devices - to help make walking more comfortable and to stabilize the joint
  • Exercises - for joint mobility and to prevent arthritis
  • Protective padding - this helps stop shoe friction
  • Proper shoes - selecting comfortable footwear that won’t make your bunion pain worse
  • Removing corns or calluses

Sometimes changing footwear and offering orthotics isn’t enough. In these cases, you may need to get your bunion removed. Your Burnsville podiatrist is pleased to offer bunion surgery. While some people hate the idea of having a large scar on their body after a procedure, we are here to tell you that our hidden incisional approach will remove the bunion and realign the big toe all while keeping aesthetics in mind. No need to fear wearing open-toed shoes after this procedure. Your feet will be sandal ready!

Don’t let bunions dictate how you live your life. If you want to enjoy the freedom of walking around pain-free, then call our Burnsville, MN office today at (952) 435-2629 to schedule an appointment!