Seeking Help for Your Bunions

When your feet are bothering you, it can affect your entire life. Our feet are the base of our musculoskeletal support system. They support us when standing, walking, running, and jumping. Bunions are a common problem that can develop on your foot that will interfere with the ability to perform these activities. Our expert podiatrist, Dr. Timothy Gardner from Family Foot & Ankle Clinic treats bunions frequently in Knoxville, TN.

What is a bunion?

When you begin to develop a bunion, you will know. Bunions are located on the inner side of your foot where the big toe meets the rest of the foot. They are caused by a dislocation of the big toe joint causing it to move inward toward the other toes. At its most severe, the big toe will lie on top of the second toe, known as crossover toe.

A bunion will not only cause discomfort and pain but will cause a physical deformity of the foot with the appearance of a bony protrusion at the bottom of the big toe. It will cause your shoes not to fit well anymore and affect your gait. That being said, a proper evaluation by a podiatrist is necessary to correctly diagnose a bunion.

Bunions are an easier condition to diagnose because of the physical deformity of the foot that is present. However, a complete, accurate diagnosis may entail x-rays, MRIs, or the order of other imaging techniques to ensure that no internal structures have been compromised, such as a fracture or torn tendon.

What are some treatments for bunions?

The treatment recommended for a bunion will depend on its severity. The objective of treating bunions is to prevent them from worsening. This means avoiding excess friction and stress on the big toe area.  Some conservative measures are:

  • Wear properly fitting shoes that are roomy in the toe area and avoid high heels and pointy-toed shoes. 
  • Buy new shoes in the evening. Feet swell slightly during the day, new shoes should be purchased in later hours to accommodate this.
  • Wear supportive shoes and get your foot measurement checked every time you purchase shoes. Our feet tend to flatten as we age, with loss of arch support, which may lead to you needing to go up a size in shoe size.
  • Pamper your feet! Soak them in warm water, massage them, elevate them - all of these things will increase circulation and nourishment to the foot and may help to alleviate swelling.
  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers
  • Steroid injections

When the above conservative measures fail to adequately stop the progression of your bunion and pain becomes worse, surgical intervention may be necessary to fix the mechanics of the foot.

Contact us for more information

Treat your bunion in Knoxville, TN with Dr. Gardner from Family Foot & Ankle Clinic. Schedule a consultation at our office by calling (865) 218-7474.

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