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Podiatry Blog

Posts for tag: Bunion

By Stonestown Podiatry Group
July 16, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunion  

Are you struggling with a bunion? Your chances of having this foot deformity escalate with age. To learn more about these unsightly and painful problems, read some FAQs prepared by Stonestown Podiatry Group in San Francisco. Dr. Daniel Alberts, Dr. Richard Rolfes, and Dr. Jasper Lee provide care to scores of people with bunions and many other foot and ankle issues.

What is a bunion?

Bunion is the common term for an acquired foot deformity known as Hallux valgus. Typically a bony bump on the inside surface of the foot at the base of the big toe, a bunion can be painful, red, swollen, and an impediment to mobility. The big toe may rotate or turn toward the second or even third toes.

How does my foot doctor know I have one?

Your San Francisco foot doctor diagnoses bunions by visual examination, X-rays, and sometimes, gait analysis to evaluate how you place the foot on the ground when walking.

What causes bunions?

Many factors do. Heredity and age (over 40 and especially, over 65) play a role. More importantly, tight shoes with high heels seem to shift significant weight and pressure on the forefoot, contributing to bunion formation over time, says the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Additionally, some people have flat arches which stress the bones of the forefoot and also may overpronate their feet as they walk or run. (Overpronation is a gait defect in which the foot rolls toward the midline with each step). Finally, trauma to the foot can lead to bunion formation.

Do other deformities accompany bunions?

Sometimes people also develop claw-like hammertoes on toes two through five. Also, corn and callus formation is common where the bunion rubs against the inside of the shoe and also on the bottom of the foot.

Do I have to have surgery?

No, surgery is usually the last option. Your podiatrist likely will try a treatment plan involving far less invasive treatments you can incorporate into your daily routine.

What are my treatment options?

They may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications and analgesics
  • Cortisone shots
  • Shoe padding (such as moleskin)
  • Night splints to realign the toe (usually appropriate for young patients)
  • Orthotics (custom-crafted, prescription shoe inserts) to pad, support, and correct gait problems
  • Stretching exercises and physical therapy to improve flexibility and mobility
  • In-office removal of corns and calluses

Find out more

For more information on bunions or to come in for a complete foot exam with Dr. Alberts, Dr. Lee, or Dr. Rolfes, call Stonestown Podiatry Group in San Francisco, CA, at (415) 731-6700.

By Stonestown Podiatry Group
January 11, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunion  

Your right foot is sore where the big toe meets the midfoot. You notice a reddened bulge on the side, too. Could this be a bunion? The three podiatrists at Stonestown Podiatry Group in San Francisco see scores of bunions, treating most of them conservatively. If you suspect this common podiatric condition, get evaluated and treated right away so you stay fit and active.

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a podiatric medical condition which affects literally millions of American adults--more of them women than men, states the American Podiatric Medical Association. An inward, or oblique, turning of the big toe toward the second and even third toes, a bunion, or Hallux valgus, causes considerable pain and limits mobility.

People who have weight issues or who overpronate, or turn their feet toward the midline, form bunions more readily as do people who are on their feet a lot and who wear tight, high-heeled shoes. Additionally, bunions have a hereditary component. In other words, if you have a bunion, chances are a close relative has one, too.

Signs you have have a bunion include:

  • A noticeable deformity (bump) of metatarsophalangeal joint between the bones of the foot and the big toe
  • Pain (stemming from arthritis and bursitis)
  • Swelling
  • Redness and tenderness
  • Callus and corn formation
  • Changes in gait, overall mobility, and range of motion in the toes

An examination and digital X-rays at Stonestown Podiatry Group in San Francisco will tell you if you do have a bunion and what you can do about it. Dr. Alberts, Dr. Rolfes, and Dr. Lee approach bunions with conservative measures first, and usually these interventions succeed. Bunionectomy, a surgical removal of the bony bump and re-alignment and pinning of the big toe joint, is reserved for the most severe of cases.

Conservative treatment for bunions

Your foot doctor will recommend a treatment plan customized to your bunion, your overall health and your activity level. Most bunions respond well to simple interventions which may include:

  • Rest, elevation, and ice
  • Warm soaks
  • Over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain
  • Change in shoes to lower heels and roomier toe boxes
  • Shoe padding in the area of the bunion (gel pads or Moleskin)
  • Semi-rigid orthotics, custom-made inserts which correct structural imbalances and gait issues (how your foot lands as you walk)
  • Night splints which work well for young people with more malleable connective tissue and bone structure
  • In-office corn and callus removal

Harvard Health says that cortisone shots also relieve pain and reduce inflammation surrounding a bunion. However, they must be used sparingly to avoid adverse side effects.

You and your bunion

A bunion does not disappear on its own. However, you can reduce the pain, stiffness and gait issues associated with a bunion by seeing your podiatrist at Stonestown Podiatry Group. Trust this experienced team to get you up and moving comfortably. Call the office today for an appointment in San Francisco, CA, (415) 731-6700. We have early morning appointments!