All About Bunions

What is a Bunion?

When your big toe pushes against the toe next to it for a long period of time, a deformity in the bones of your foot can form, causing the joint of your big to enlarge and stick out.  This is a bunion. Bunionettes (often called “tailors’ bunions”) are smaller bunions that grow on the joint of your little toe.

What Causes Bunions?

There are many theories about what leads to the development of bunions. Although doctors haven’t conclusively determined any one cause, scientists have identified some risk factors:

  • Congenital foot defects: Some people are born with foot deformities that lead to bunions.
  • Gender: Women are affected more frequently than men.
  • Poorly fitting shoes: When you choose shoes that are tight, narrow or cramped in the toe box, you increase your bunion risk. Because the relationship between high heels and bunions is unclear, recommend that you save those pointy stilettos for special occasions.
  • Heredity: Those born with structural foot defects are at higher risk for bunions.
  • Arthritis: People with inflammatory conditions are more susceptible to bunions.

Do You Have a Bunion?

Bunions can be asymptomatic, but it’s more likely that you’ll notice signs as a bunion develops and grows. Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM urge you to be on the lookout for these 7 symptoms:

  1. Visible, possibly painful changes in your foot shape
  2. Persistent or occasional discomfort
  3. A bulge or bump on the outside of the base of your big toe
  4. Redness, swelling or tenderness around your big toe joint
  5. Decreased movement of your big toe or foot
  6. Corns or calluses developing where the first and second toes overlap
  7. Trouble wearing old shoes and/or difficulty finding a new pair that fit your feet comfortably

Can Bunions Be Treated?

Good news!  Help is available. The first step is scheduling an appointment to a visit a podiatrist like Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein. These experts will examine your feet and determine if your problem is, in fact, a bunion. If so, non-invasive treatment options are available. Icing, over the counter medication such as ibuprofen, and padding or splinting may provide relief. If those don’t help, surgery might be a possibility.

Do you have pain or swelling around your big toe?  Do you wonder if you have a bunion? Every week, Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM see dozens of patients just like you. They can determine the source of your foot pain and work with you to create an individual treatment plan. Call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 or click here to make a convenient appointment at our Rocky Hill or Hartford offices office today. 

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