Bunions can make walking or wearing shoes painful and difficult, and if left untreated, these bony bumps often get worse over time. At Desert Foot and Ankle in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, the team of board-certified podiatrists can help you manage bunions using custom-made orthotics and perform surgery or Lapiplasty® to correct them. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking tool.
A bunion is a painful bony bump at the base of your big toe. A bunion develops gradually when your big toe points toward your second toe instead of straight. This causes the joint of your big toe to stick out and changes the structure in the bone, causing a lump on the skin that’s red, swollen, and sore.
There’s usually a genetic component to bunions because some people’s big toes naturally lean in toward their second toes. They’re more likely to develop if you wear tight, narrow shoes, which may be why they’re more common among women than men. Bunions also commonly affect people with arthritis.
Many people wait years before seeking treatment for a bunion after the bump grows large enough that walking becomes painful and difficult. Over time, bunions change the structure of the affected foot. Further, when the big toe places pressure on the second toe, it can cause the second toe to become misaligned and lead to calluses.
Many bunions are mild and respond to conservative treatment. You may benefit simply from wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly and don’t put pressure on your toes or rub against the bunion. Your Desert Foot and Ankle podiatrist may also recommend orthotics, or customized shoe inserts, which can relieve pressure from your bunion.
In addition to changing your footwear, you may benefit from wearing a device called a toe spacer, which helps to realign your toes and provide pain relief. You may also wear a splint at night to keep your toe straight.
To manage the pain of the bunion, your podiatrist may recommend icing the area or taking over-the-counter pain medication.
These approaches don’t cure the bunion. The bony bump doesn’t heal on its own. However, you can prevent it from getting worse, which may require surgery.
If you have a severe bunion that makes it difficult for you to walk, your Desert Foot and Ankle podiatrist may recommend you undergo Lapiplasty, a technologically advanced surgical treatment to correct bunions. Lapiplasty corrects the alignment of the affected toe bone and stabilizes the joint using a metal plate.
Lapiplasty is a breakthrough improvement over traditional bunion surgery, which involves cutting the bone in half, shifting it, and leaving the unstable joint in place. Unlike traditional surgery, which is associated with a high rate of recurrence, the procedure helps to prevent the root cause of bunions. Your Desert Foot and Ankle podiatrist performs Lapiplasty at a surgery center or a hospital.
To get treatment for a bunion, book an appointment at Desert Foot and Ankle online or over the phone.