The big toe is the hardest working toe in your foot. Every time your foot pushes off the ground, this toe supports most of your body weight. Because the big toe is so critical for gait, any problem with it can make walking or even standing painful. A bunion is the most common problem with the big toe. This occurs when there is excess or misaligned bone in the joint. In addition to causing pain, a bunion changes the shape of your foot, making it harder to find shoes that fit. But this problem can be treated. With a podiatrists help, your feet can feel and look better.
Bunions usually occur at the base of the big toe. They may also develop on the fifth toe. Bunions often caused by abnormal foot mechanics. The foot may flatten too much, forcing the toe joint beyond normal range. In some cases, joint damage caused by arthritis or an injury leads to a bunion. Certain people are born with the tendency to develop bunions. If you are at risk for bunions, wearing poorly fitting shoes makes the problem more likely to develop.
To determine the best treatment for your foot, your podiatrist will ask questions and examine you. Describe any symptoms you have, including whether the bunion causes pain. Your podiatrist will likely test how the affected joint moves. To check for abnormal foot mechanics, your doctor may watch you walk to see how your feet rotate and flatten as you walk. X Rays will be taken to show the position of the big toe joint. Your doctor may also want to see whether the bunion is affecting other bones in your foot and causing other issues, such as hammertoes.
If a bunion mild and does not cause pain your podiatrist may recommend a different style of shoe. Custom shoe inserts may be prescribed to correct abnormal foot mechanics. For bunions that are painful or severe, surgery may be recommended. This is an outpatient surgery, so no hospital stay is needed.
Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a detailed clinical evaluation of your bunion and your treatment options.