We all may have heard of bunions before and thought that they were simply afflictions that affect the elderly, but actually anyone of any age can develop this painful and embarrassing condition. A bunion is a bony bump that generally forms on the joint at the base of the big toe, but they can also occur on the joint of the little toe, which are called bunionettes. While bunions are common, they are not something you need to simply live with.

At Renuva Xtremity in Memphis, we offer a variety of podiatric services to help with your foot and ankle issues. Dr. Nathan Lucas, our board certified podiatric surgeon specializes in aesthetic foot surgery and can help you with your foot concerns. In this blog, we are going to talk more about bunions and how we can help treat them. Read on to learn more and contact us to schedule an appointment.

How Does a Bunion Form?

A bunion slowly forms over time and will eventually get bigger and stick out, creating a bump on the side of your foot. What causes a bunion to form is some of the front bones in your feet moving out of place, causing the tip of your big toe to get pushed toward the smaller toes, which, in turn, pouches the joint out.

The bones in your foot can move out of place due to the shoes you wear. Tight, narrow shoes can cause bunions or make them worse. However, bunions can also develop simply due to the shape of the foot. If you have a medical condition, such as arthritis, or a foot deformity, you may also end up experiencing bunions.

What Are The Symptoms?

While bunions are pretty obvious and easy to spot, there are some other symptoms that you may notice. The big bump on the outside of the base of your big toe is the main symptom. You may also experience redness and soreness at the joint. Calluses or corns may develop at the point where the big toe and the second toe rub together. You may also experience limited movement in your big toe.

How To Prevent Bunions

The best way to prevent bunions is to wear shoes with wide toe boxes While sometimes they cannot be prevented, wearing the right shoes can help. You want shoes that are comfortable on the shape of your foot and have enough room for all your toes. Your shoes shouldn’t squeeze your toes and you should have space between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

How To Treat Bunions

Changing your shoes is another great way to treat bunions. As we already mentioned, sometimes bunions can’t be prevented, but wearing the right shoes can help you manage pain. Make sure the shoes you wear don’t have a heel more than 2 inches high, heeled shoes put pressure on the front of your foot, which can cause bunions and make the pain from them worse.

Icing your feet can also help reduce pain. You can use frozen vegetables or a bag of crushed ice to ice your foot where the bunion occurs. When icing, be sure not to leave it on your foot for more than 20 minutes. Feet have less tissue and muscle than other body parts, which mean they are more likely to experience ice burn. If you have nerve damage or circulation issues, you may want to talk to your doctor before using ice to manage bunion pain.

Some other treatment options include padding, which can eliminate friction against the shoes and reduce inflammation, orthotic devices, exercises, and splints for nighttime wear. In more severe cases, surgery might be needed.

Dr. Nathan Lucas utilizes a “hidden incision” approach when performing a bunionectomy. This ensures you can enjoy comfort and aesthetics after your surgery.

If you have a bunion that you don’t know how to treat and everything you have tried seems to not be working, be sure to schedule an appointment at Renuva Xtremity in Memphis. We will be able to help you find the right treatment for you and give you advice for how to deal with your bunions. Contact us to learn more!