- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling
- Ice the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day to also alleviate pain and swelling (conversely, you may choose to soak your bunion in warm water to ease symptoms)
- Consider getting prescription orthotics (shoe inserts) to place within your shoes to take the pressure off the deformed joint and to reduce pain with walking or standing
- Wear a night splint, which will straighten out the big toe while you sleep to reduce morning pain and stiffness
- Only wear shoes that have a wide toe box that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion. Avoid high heels and shoes with pointed toes.
- Perform stretching exercises every day to alleviate stiffness and to improve mobility and range of motion within the feet
- Apply a non-medicated pad over the bunion before putting on shoes to prevent friction and the formation of a callus
Should I consider bunion surgery?
Worried that you might be dealing with a bunion? Experiencing regular bunion pain? If so, a foot and ankle professional can assess the problem and provide you with a customized treatment plan to help you get your bunion pain under control.
- Ingrown toenails
- Chronic heel pain
- A broken foot or ankle
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in the feet
- Severe pain
- Difficulty bearing weight on a foot or ankle
- A visible foot deformity
- Signs of infection (e.g. redness; swelling; fever)
- An ulcer or open wound
Common Types of Foot Surgery
There are a number of reasons why you may need foot surgery including severe bunions, problems with arthritis, foot injury, or tendon disorders. Dr. Esther Sue Barnes is a podiatrist at Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Clinic in Kalispell, MT. She specializes in foot surgery.
Types of Foot Surgery
Dr. Barnes provides Kalispell residents with the specialist podiatric treatment they need. Common types of foot surgery include:
- Bunions surgery: Bunions are swellings at the base of the big toe joint that affect mainly women, possibly because of wearing narrow shoes or high heels. As the bunion grows, the big toe starts to turn inwards and may eventually overlap the second toe. This surgery is a simple procedure designed to straighten the big toe.
- Metatarsal surgery: The metatarsals are five long bones between the foot’s tarsal bones and the toes’ phalanges. If they become arthritic this can cause inflammation and the joints may become dislocated. This causes pain when walking and often requires surgery.
- Plantar fasciitis surgery: The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that connects the toes to the heel. Plantar fasciitis is the condition where the tissue is overstretched can cause heel pain. Surgery is not often needed for this condition, but it can be helpful in severe cases, to release the plantar fascia from the heel bone.
- Achilles tendon surgery: The Achilles tendon connects the heel to the calf. If it becomes ruptured due to an injury or wear and tear, you may need surgery to repair the tissue.
- Morton’s neuroma surgery: This condition affects the nerves around the base of the toes. It causes a burning sensation around the balls of the feet and tingling or numb toes. Surgery involves removing the affected nerve.
If you live in Kalispell and you need foot surgery, contact Dr. Barnes on 406-755-2818 to schedule a consultation.
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UPDATE 3/23/20: In attempt to maintain the safety of our patients, employees, and the community, the office is physically closed, other than for the care of patients with urgent concerns / emergenices only. Attempts will be made to return phone calls Monday through Thursday from 9AM to 1PM. Please use the "Request an Appointment" resource above to request an appointment. If an established patient, we encourage you to log into the Patient Portal and send a message to Dr. Barnes or the office with any questions or concerns. Thank you.
TeleHealth and Tele-Visits in the time of COVID-19
Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic, PC has initiated a TeleHealth Service during the COVID-19 Pandemic for a number of reasons:
1.) Our top priority has always been, and continues to be, Patient, Employee, Community Health and Safety.
2.) With the primary goal of triaging, or prioritizing what's urgent and what's not, Dr. Barnes seeks to help patients with the foot concerns over the phone or computer. Caring for patients in this way, and arranging for visits in clinic if necessary (infections, ulcerations, injuries) and in a controlled environment, she hopes to do her part in allowing to the Urgent Cares and Emergencies Rooms help those with needs related to the virus.
3.) Although Dr. Barnes obviously cannot physicially treat you or other patients over the phone or computer, she can hopefully see if your concern would be best treated physically, and arrange for this to be done. If she can help give you direction and advice over the computer or phone, she will do so. This particularly applies to you if you have foot pain, as many treatment options can be relayed in this way (stretches, shoe recommendations, orthotic recommendations).
4.) During this time of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty, Dr. Barnes wants to do her part in helping you do the things you need to do (caring for a loved one, running outside for stress relief, or walking on a treadmill at home, for example) without foot pain interfering. She does't want you to have to wait months or an indefinite period of time for you to get back on your feet! "CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A TELEVISIT."