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Burlington Magazine

BUNIONS: When Should I Seek Treatment?

What IS a bunion?
A bunion is a structural deformity. The big toe joint becomes subluxed and shifts towards the other toes. As a result, the metatarsal of the big toe looks like a prominent bony protrusion.

At first, a bunion may seem like nothing more than an inconvenience or mild discomfort when walking or standing, but over time bunions can progress and eventually become a severe foot deformity that is both unsightly and painful.

Treatment is a critical part of managing bunion progression, When contemplating treatment consider the following:

pain level — Pain located directly on the bunion is a sign that there is increasing pressure on the joint, which can quickly lead to arthritic degeneration. It can also change your gait, which can affect many other areas of the body, such as the ankles, knees, hips and back.

discomfort limits activity — If daily activities become limited, it’s time to seek treatment. Impact activities such as running or other sports may become more challenging to perform as well.

OVERLAPPING TOES — If the second toe starts to overlap or underlap the big toe, it’s not necessarily  painful, but there is an increased risk of secondary problems, such as metatarsal stress fractures.

It’s important to know that not all bunions progress or worsen over time. Some never change in size, while some can progress into major foot deformities. Genetics play a big role in how a bunion develops.

If you are unsure whether your bunion needs treatment, schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists. There may be simple treatment options that can give you a higher level of comfort without resorting to surgery. 

Article Courtesy of Triad Foot & Ankle Center - Burlington

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