Could your foot problems be due to a bunion? Help is on the way!
A bunion is a fairly common foot ailment; however, just because you have one doesn’t mean that you have to just put up with the pain and discomfort. Learn more about this condition and how your Kalispell, MT podiatrist may be able to help provide the relief you’ve been looking for.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a bony bump that originates at a toe’s joint. While any toe can be affected, bunions are most often found at the base of the big toe.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of a bunion are:
- A large, hard protrusion at the base of the big toe
- Localized pain and swelling
- Soreness and redness around the affected toe
- Difficulty moving the big toe
What causes a bunion to form?
A bunion forms when weight isn’t distributed evenly on the joints of the feet. Over time this causes the joint to become unstable and form a hard lump. A bunion may be the result of a congenital foot deformity, a past injury or arthritis. There is also a debate as to whether wearing tight, high-heeled shoes could also cause a bunion to form.
What treatment options are available to me?
There are many conservative options that you can try to help alleviate your bunion symptoms. Some of the most common options include:
- Wearing shoe inserts or custom orthotics (which your podiatrist can prescribe for you)
- Only wearing shoes that fit comfortably and give your toes room to move
- Splinting or taping the foot so it’s in the proper position
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like Tylenol or Aleve
- Taking prescription medication or cortisone injections may also reduce pain and swelling, particularly if symptoms are more severe
- Applying a wrapped ice pack to the bunion to reduce swelling and discomfort
Can a bunion be removed?
While the treatment options above are designed to reduce and even eliminate the pain you are experiencing, they are not designed to remove or get rid of the bunion. The only way to truly get rid of a bunion is to have it surgically removed, and surgery is not often recommended until you have exhausted all other treatment options and still haven’t experienced any relief.
Will a bunion get worse if left untreated?
Bunions are known to increase over time, but it will be hard to predict when a bunion will get larger. When you come in to see your foot doctor we may be able to determine just how large your bunion may become over time.
Contact your Kalispell, MT Podiatrist
A bunion doesn’t have to rule your life. Turn to your Kalispell, MT podiatrist to find the answers you need to treat your bunion symptoms effectively.
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."