Bunion Pain

You may have noticed the telltale sign of a bunion – a painful boney bulge on the outside base of the big toe. Bunions are a very common foot condition. A bunion is a deformity within the joint of the big toe. This misalignment in the joint causes the toe to drift inward toward the second toe and sometimes can even cause the second toe to overlap the first or third toe.

Left untreated, the deformity may worsen causing increased pain that can eventually affect your mobility and ability to walk or run. Wearing shoes that are too small, narrow, pointed, or have high heels are the leading cause of most bunions. Genetics and arthritis of the foot can be contributing factors as well. A physical exam and x-rays will provide insight into the health of your foot and allow your orthopedic doctor to recommend a personalized approach to managing pain and recovery.

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  • Pain and tenderness on and near the bunion
  • Hardened, callused skin on the bottom of the foot
  • A callus or corn on the bulge of the bunion
  • Stiffness and restricted motion in the big toe, which may lead to limited mobility and difficulty walking or running
  • Wearing poorly fitting shoes, especially those that are narrow or tight in the toe box
  • Conditions that affects the joints such as arthritis
  • Family genetics

Wearing poorly fitting shoes – in particular, shoes with a narrow, pointed toe box that forces the toes into an unnatural position
Conditions that affects the joints such as arthritis

  • Description of your symptoms and medical history
  • Physical examination to evaluate health of the foot
  • X-ray to show bone health
  • Change of shoe style to include a wider toe box area or slightly bigger size overall
  • Wearing foam pads over the bunion to provide comfort
  • Daily stretches of big toe to provide pain relief and reduce stiffness 
  • Surgery may be recommended for severe cases. Recovery from bunion surgery can take several weeks and often includes wearing a protective boot and use of crutches or a walker
Bunion Pain Specialties
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