Your foot’s shape distributes the pressure of the weight of your body and the forces of motions like walking and running. When some aspects of your feet shift out of alignment, distorting the shape of your foot, motion becomes limited, and you may end up suffering from symptoms of pain and discomfort.
The pressures on your feet can result in bunions, bony protrusions at the base of your big toes, or bunionettes at the base of your little toes. The distortion of your foot shape due to a bad bunion can hobble you, making walking difficult, and wearing certain types of shoes impossible.
At The Foot Care Group, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Steve Sharlin and his team offer a range of professional-grade treatment services for bunions, from conservative options like splinting to bunion surgery.
Here’s what Dr. Sharlin wants his patients from Hinsdale, Libertyville, and the Streeterville community of Chicago, Illinois, to know about diagnosing and treating bunions.
Bunions form when the bones in your front foot shift out of place. The metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) connects the first bone of your toe to the first long bone of your foot, and that’s where bunions appear.
The bony bump of a bunion occurs when the MTP joint starts sticking out. Tight shoes that put pressure on your feet can cause bunions, but you could also develop bunions simply due to underlying issues in the shape of your feet. Bunions also sometimes occur due to other medical conditions such as arthritis.
If you can get to bunions early, as the deformation is still developing, you can often address the problem with conservative treatment options.
Just changing up your footwear can make a big difference, giving your toes enough room and relieving pressure on your big toe. Talk to Dr. Sharlin about how to select shoes that fit right and support your feet.
Protective padding can shield the area around a bunion, but watch out for a risk of increased pressure on a bunion that could cause the problem to worsen, not improve. Custom orthotic inserts are a more sure bet, if Dr. Sharlin helps you to perfectly fit and use them.
To cope with pain, swelling, and discomfort related to a bunion, consider using these conservative at-home treatments:
In cases of larger or more developed bunions, bunion surgery may be the best way to reshape your feet and end your bunion-related difficulties. If you suffer from reduced range of motion, a large deformity, or swelling, stiffness, or redness, bunion surgery could be right for you.
Dr. Sharlin reviews your medical history and conducts a physical exam to determine if you need surgical treatment for bunions.
Bunion surgery effectively resolves pain associated with bunions. During the procedure, block anesthesia keeps your affected foot numb while you remain conscious. Plan on getting help for the drive home after your surgery.
In bunion surgery, Dr. Sharlin removes the portion of bone enlarged by the bunion. Dr. Sharlin realigns the tissues, ligaments, bones, and tendons of your foot as part of your procedure before closing your incision with stitches. After 6-8 weeks of recovery, you may start to notice increased comfort on your feet.
To learn more about the treatment options for bunions available to you through The Foot Care Group, contact our office today. Schedule your appointment over the phone, or request an appointment online now.