Bunions are a toe abnormality that affects the big toe and sometimes the little toe—in which case it is called a bunionette. In either case, the affected toe pushes into the other toes while a bony bump develops on the top or side of said toe. This lateral pushing can cause a variety of other problems, especially if the bunions are not treated in the early stages when they are more flexible.
Some of the complications that can cause the need for surgery include the following:
- Overlapping or underlapping toes—When the bunion has pushed the big toe to the point that the second and third toes are on top of each other, it can make wearing shoes difficult or impossible without considerable agitation. The bunion can be straightened with a variety of surgeries, or toe spacers can be used if the deformity is not too severe.
- Persistent pain and discomfort—If your bunion is preventing you from comfortably wearing shoes and performing your daily activities, then talk to your foot doctor to see if custom orthotics can help to postpone any surgery for now.
- Stiff big toe (hallux rigidus)—When the big toe joint gets stiff from arthritis, in addition to the bunion problem, it can create considerable difficulty with walking, exercising, and climbing the stairs.
To find out if your bunion problem can still be treated without surgery, make an appointment to see your foot doctor. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.