If your big toe looks angled, with a bump that protrudes from its base, you may have a bunion. Your bump may seem pretty small, but bunions usually progress, eventually causing pain. The exceptional podiatrists at North Shore Foot & Ankle can treat early stage bunions to help you avoid future pain, and offer effective treatment options if you have a bunion that is causing you trouble right now. To learn more, call the office in Syosset, NY, Flushing, NY, Rosedale, NY, Plainview, NY, and Lynbrook NY, or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is a bunion?

A bunion, also known as hallux valgus, is a bony protrusion within the foot, in the area around the base of the big toe. A bunion can cause your big toe to angle in toward your second toe over time; in some cases, the big toe will eventually overlap the second toe.

A bunion begins as a smaller lump, but they often progress into a larger protrusion that starts to hurt. If you treat bunions in the early stages, they may not become as painful and debilitating later.

Resistance from your shoes and pressure from walking and standing can make the pain and swelling of a bunion worse. Eventually, bunion pain can become so severe that it may prevent you from walking or standing.

What causes bunions?

Bunions can arise from hereditary structural imbalances in your feet, and they tend to run in families. Wearing shoes that are too tight, foot injuries, or arthritis can also cause bunions.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

The most common sign that you may have a bunion is a bump that bulges out from the base of your big toe. Other signs and symptoms of bunions include:

  • Swelling, redness or pain in the big toe
  • Corns or calluses around the big toe or where the big toe meets the second toe
  • Pain in the big toe
  • Loss of range of motion in the big toe

If you have pain that prevents you from walking, or you have difficulty wearing shoes or finding shoes that fit, it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist at North Shore Foot & Ankle about treatment options for your bunions.

How does a podiatrist treat bunions?

In general, a conservative treatment plan is the first approach to alleviate your pain and slow the progression of your bunion. This plan may include:

  • Wearing comfortable shoes with ample room for your toes
  • Prescription or custom orthotics that align your feet and reduce pressure
  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications
  • Cortisone shots to reduce pain and inflammation

Large bunions that cause severe pain may require a surgical procedure, called a bunionectomy, in which your doctor removes the bony protrusion and realigns your toes. This is usually an outpatient procedure that typically only requires a local anesthetic; it’s a very common procedure that can permanently end bunion pain.

For more information on bunion treatments, call North Shore Foot & Ankle or schedule an appointment online.