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Nearly one-quarter of all adult Americans under the age of 65 suffer from foot bunions. These bony bumps appear on the side of the big toe joint and often cause chronic pain and discomfort. For millions who already have some mobility issues, this adds another obstacle. Fortunately, a myriad of non-invasive treatments is available to alleviate your bunion pain. And if these conservative treatments aren’t sufficient, your Clifton foot doctors at Premier Podiatry in NJ also offers bunion surgery. Call today for an appointment to have your bunions evaluated.

Also known as hallux valgus, bunions are the bumps that protrude from the side of your big toe. More than just a bump, bunions represent a misalignment of the bones in the front part of your foot. Your big toe drifts toward your second toe, which forces the joint at the ball of your foot to stick out, leading to foot pain, toe pain and pain in the ball of your foot. Bunions develop gradually, and over time, the deformed toes make it painful to walk or wear certain shoes. Bunions, therefore, affect your mobility.

Sadly, bunions are a widespread condition. About 23 percent of American adults have bunions, including nearly 36 percent of seniors over 65. If you’re suffering from bunion pain, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Velimir Petkov at podiatry clinic in New Jersey to begin your bunion treatment and start walking freely again.

Bunion Causes and Risk Factors

Bunions develop gradually for a variety of reasons. When your big toe pushes toward the second toe, your bones become misaligned. Despite intensive study, scientists have yet to determine the exact cause of foot bunions. But several factors seem to correlate to their development. While bunions can appear on anyone, the most common risk factors include:

  • Genetics. Bunions seem to run in families. Certain foot types seem to be more susceptible to bunion development.
  • Trauma. Foot injuries or heavy stress to the feet can eventually lead to bunions.
  • Congenital disabilities. Many bunion sufferers had foot deformities present at birth without seeking help from a pediatric podiatrist.
  • Gender. While men are not immune, bunions tend to appear more frequently on women.
  • Shoes. High heels push your toes into the front of the shoe, where they’re compressed together. Narrow, tight-fitting shoes cause the same problem.
  • Arthritis. A chronic inflammatory disorder in your joints, rheumatoid arthritis frequently leads to foot bunions.
  • Polio. Among other problems, this serious neuromuscular condition often causes bunions.

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Bunion Symptoms

Although bunions are usually easy to recognize by the location and shape, they can be mistaken for other conditions, such as gout. It’s always wise to get a firm diagnosis from a trained podiatrist to ensure you’re not suffering from a tumor or large wart.

  • Some of the most distinguishing bunion symptoms include:
  • Chronic or intermittent pain
  • Diminished mobility of your big toe
  • A protruding bump on the side of your big toe
  • Callouses or corns that appear between your second and big toe
  • Inflammation of the toe joint

Bunion Treatment

Fortunately, conservative treatments alleviate the vast majority of bunion pain. While these techniques won’t cure your bunions, you can achieve bunion pain relief once you have a clear diagnosis by following your podiatrist’s instructions, which may include:

  • Footwear. Choose alternative shoes that don’t scrunch your toes together. Some shoe types spread out at the toes to provide more space and relieve pressure on your toes. Qualified podiatrist Clifton, NJ Dr. Petkov educates you on proper shoe fit and type.
  • Pads. Protective padding can also provide much-needed bunion pain relief. Made from soft silicone, bunion-shield pads provide relief by cushioning the toe from the abrasion of your shoe.
  • Ice. Bunions can become swollen when you place heavy demands on your feet. Ice reduces swollen feet and promotes bunion relief. If your bunions are inflamed, ice them several times per day for up to 20 minutes.
  • Over-the-counter medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, reduce swelling and provide bunion pain relief.
  • Orthotics. Your podiatrist helps you choose the best orthotic solution for your foot bunions.

How to Get Rid of Bunions

Conservative treatments may give you some pain relief, but they don’t fix bunions. Several bunion surgical techniques provide a permanent solution. During these procedures, your podiatrist seeks to realign your toe joint, relieve pain and correct toe and joint deformities. Due to the varied nature of foot bunions, several surgical procedures are available, including:

  • Osteotomy. Your podiatrist realigns your bones with plates and screws. He also removes a wedge portion of bone to straighten the big toe.
  • Arthrodesis. This surgical technique treats bunions if you also have rheumatoid arthritis. Your doctor removes the arthritic surface of the joint and repairs it with screws, wires and plates.
  • Exostectomy. Rarely performed in isolation, this procedure removes the bump from your toe joint, but does not correct its alignment. Surgeons often use this technique in conjunction with an osteotomy to fix severe bunions.

Bunions are a common and painful problem that tends to worsen if not properly treated. Dr. Petkov at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, NJ, diagnoses and develops a treatment plan custom-designed for you. Contact your New Jersey podiatrist to set up your initial consultation.

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