Bunions: Risks, Complications, and Treatment

Bunions: Risks, Complications, and Treatment

A bunion can develop after years of exerting undue pressure on the outside of the big toe. If untreated, The Woodlands bunion can increase the risk of osteoporosis, hammertoes, and bone spurs. Foot and Ankle Specialists recommend visiting a podiatrist when you detect symptoms. Bunions can be treated using non-invasive and invasive treatment options.

What causes bunions?

A bunion is a bump that protrudes from the area around your big toe. It develops when pressure forces the bones in the joint to shift out of their position.

Foot mechanics, or the movement of your foot, is one of the main factors speeding up bunions’ progression. Pressure forces the tip of the big toe to point toward the inside of the foot. In some cases, the bunion may form on the small toe on the outer side of the foot.

Bunions may develop due to genetic factors that influence your feet’s mechanics. Tight shoes also restrict the foot’s movement and can increase the risk of bunions. Health conditions like osteoarthritis can cause problems around the big toe’s joint.

Symptoms of bunions

The undue pressure exerted on the joint may cause problems with movement. The skin will redden due to continuous friction. The condition may limit the movement of the big toe and foot.

Other bunion symptoms may include:

  • Sore or painful joint around the big toe
  • Development of corns and calluses
  • Irregular sensations of pain in the foot
  • Limited movement of the joint

What are the possible bunion complications?

Bunions can lead to various complications. In the initial stages, the pain makes it painful to move the joint and walk.

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Severe cases may cause complications such as:

Bursitis: if untreated, bunions can trigger an inflammation of the bursae, fluid-filled sacs that protect the joints. The area around the joint appears swollen and red, making moving the toe painful.

Hammer or mallet toe: a hammer toe is a foot deformity that forces the toes to bend or assume a curled position. Bunions limit the movement of the joint, increasing the risk of mallet toe. Hammertoes are more likely to develop if tight shoes are the principal cause of the bunion.

Bone spurs: Bunions cause joint damage and inflammation, which triggers bone spurs. Bone spurs are bony protrusions that develop around the joint as the body attempts to repair weakening cartilage. Over time bone spurs can limit the movement of the toe.

Metatarsalgia: Metatarsalgia is a painful condition where inflammation develops around the ball of the foot. The bunion forces the weight to shift to the smaller metatarsal bones. While Metatarsalgia is usually not serious, it causes sharp pain at the base of the foot behind the toes.

Bunions prevention and treatment

Wearing tight shoes can worsen bunion symptoms and increase the risk of complications. Consider buying shoes that fit, with adequate room for your toes.

Your podiatrist will ask you questions regarding your experience with bunions. Treatment will explore nonsurgical options before recommending surgery.

Contact Foot and Ankle Specialists to schedule an appointment today and learn more about bunions.

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