Living with Bunions

Many of us are familiar with those sore, annoying, sometimes quite painful bumps on the side of the toe, but you don’t have to suffer—there are several ways of treating bunions that can bring relief and make daily activities much more comfortable. At Lansdowne Podiatry our board qualified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Monique Renee Rolle treats many patients with bunions. Bunions form when the big toe begins to lean toward the next toe over, causing the joint to get displaced and a bony protrusion to form on the outside of the toe. As you walk, your weight pushes down on this misplaced joint, causing pain and further deformity. The bump on the side of the toe tends to get red and irritated from rubbing against your shoes. Other symptoms include swelling or redness around the joint of the big toe, corns or calluses where the big toe overlaps the second toe, and stiffness or restricted movement of the big toe.

What Causes Bunions?

In many cases, bunions are caused by a defective foot structure which can be genetic. It can also be associated with the onset of arthritis. Bunions tend to worsen as a person ages. Women are more prone to bunions than men because of long term wearing of shoes with tight and narrow toes boxes, something known to certainly aggravate, and in some cases, cause bunions.

Treatment Options

Your foot doctor will take a detailed medical history and conduct a complete exam of your foot and toes which will usually include x-rays to properly diagnose your condition. Once present, bunions will not disappear on their own. Left untreated, they can lead to other conditions, such as Bursitis, Metatarsalgia, or Hammertoes. The only way to remove a bunion is through surgery but there are several non-surgical treatments your podiatrist may suggest. These include:

  • Over the counter medication to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Heating pads, hot baths, or occasionally icing to relieve pain
  • Specially fitted shoes to accommodate the bunion
  • Padding or orthotics to go inside your shoes to keep the bunion from being irritated

If you have a bunion, set up an appointment at our Leesburg office by calling 571-223-0424. Caught early, bunions can be managed successfully for many years.