If you have serious chronic pain and stiffness around your big toe joint, it’s probably a bunion. At Forest Hills Family Foot Care in Queens, trustworthy podiatrist David Mehl, DPM, uses his decades of experience to quickly identify and diagnose your bunion before designing a custom treatment plan. Call the Forest Hills, New York, office, or click on the scheduling tool to arrange your appointment now.
A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a deformity involving your big toe joint. At the bottom of your big toe, the bunion pushes outward from the side and your big toe leans into (or even over) the little toe next to it. Bunions are very hard bumps because they're made of bone.
Although much less common, you can also have bunions (bunionettes or tailor's bunions) on your little toes.
Bunions can lead to several problems, including:
If you have a bunion, it's probably also difficult to find shoes that fit properly and feel comfortable. Many shoes with tight uppers can be very hard or impossible to wear when you have a pronounced bunion.
The main cause of bunions is abnormal pressure on your big toe joint and the attached tendons. Essentially, this means that when the balance in your foot changes significantly, it can lead to foot deformities like bunions. Usually, it takes years of abnormal movement and pressure to create a bunion.
You may have abnormal foot movement because of an inherited foot type, but other factors can play a role too. For example, dancers often develop bunions because of continued foot stress. Regularly wearing certain types of footwear (especially high heels) can also contribute to bunions.
Foot trauma, neuromuscular disorders, or congenital deformities can cause bunions as well.
Dr. Mehl examines your foot and typically uses the on-site X-ray equipment to view the bony structure of your foot in detail and determine what kind of corrective measures you need.
For milder bunions, Dr. Mehl may recommend conservative nonsurgical care to prevent the deformity from growing worse. This may include padding, custom orthotics, and changing your shoes. If you have serious bunion pain, you may need oral medication or cortisone injections to diminish inflammation and pain.
If a pronounced bunion is affecting your foot mechanics and overall body alignment, or if your bunion disrupts your normal activities, surgery may be the next step. Dr. Mehl can customize a surgical plan that removes the bump and realigns the joint to give you lasting bunion relief.
Call Forest Hills Family Foot Care or click the appointment tool for bunion help now.