At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC, we expect to start seeing more women in our offices seeking help for bunions in the upcoming months. During the summer, most of us spend time in open shoes, sandals, flip-flops and going barefoot. Once fall comes and we make the switch to closed toe shoe styles, bunion pain may seem much more intense.
Bunions are a progressive condition as well, so they will continue to get worse as time goes on. Bunions are the result of a biomechanical problem that causes the big toe joint to move out of place and drift toward the second toe, producing the characteristic bump on the side of the big toe. As the protrusion gets larger, it becomes more painful to wear shoes. In addition, secondary issues such as corns and calluses may form.
If you haven’t already, you need to start with an evaluation by one of our foot and ankle surgeons Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko. The podiatrist will examine your foot and most likely take an x-ray. This will be used both to determine the extent of the deformity and also for monitoring its progression.
Ultimately, the only way to correct a bunion is through surgery. There are a number of different bunionectomy surgeries. When the foot doctor determines the time is right, he or she will discuss the best option for you. There are also conservative measures that can be used to help manage discomfort and slow the progression of the bunion. These include:
Choosing more accommodating shoes. Look for styles with wide toe boxes and low heels.
Padding. Placing a pad over the bunion can provide a buffering cushion and reduce pain.
Orthotics. An orthotic device may help correct the positioning of the foot and toe and thereby reduce the stress on the joint.