Bunions are impossible to miss. Large bony protrusions typically occur at the base of your big toe.
Most bunions don’t require surgery, but surgery is often the only option when they’re causing pain or are severely progressing. If your bunions look red and sore, it’s a sign of significant inflammation, which could require surgery to treat.
At the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center in Washington, DC, Ijeoma Nwuju, DPM, helps treat your bunions with a variety of nonsurgical or surgical methods.
What causes bunions?
Bunions usually develop over time due to prolonged pressure compressing the big toe into the second toe, such as when you wear narrow shoes. Over time, extra bone grows where the big toe bone meets the first foot bone at the metatarsophalangeal joint.
Some bunions seem to be genetic, while others may be caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Wearing footwear like high heels, having birth deformities, or experiencing foot injuries are all believed to potentially cause bunions.
In addition to the large bony protrusion, bunions come with many symptoms, including:
- Pain and stiffness in the big toe joint
- Limited big-toe movement
- Difficulty walking
Bunions can cause your foot to become so wide that it’s difficult to find wide enough shoes.
Nonsurgical treatment options
Surgery is rarely performed for bunions as, most of the time, they haven’t progressed to a point where they become a problem. Dr. Nwuju will likely recommend one of the following nonsurgical treatment options:
- Wearing custom orthotics
- Applying ice
- Wearing different shoes
- Anti-inflammatories or pain medications
- Taping or splinting the foot
If these treatments don’t fix your bunions completely, then bunion surgery may be the next step.
Bunion surgery is usually an outpatient service, meaning it doesn’t require you to stay in a hospital during recovery.
The procedure will depend on your condition and your doctor’s practice, which at Foot and Ankle Wellness Center is minimally invasive foot surgery.
The day before surgery, your doctor will ask you to follow all pre-procedure instructions, like avoiding smoking and getting someone to drive you home.
During surgery, your surgeon will provide anesthetic to ensure you remain comfortable and then make tiny incisions to repair, remove, replace, and reconstruct the foot tissues.
Afterward, you’ll have to stay in an observation room for a bit, and then you’ll be ready to go home.
If you’re ready to begin your bunion treatment journey, contact us today at our office in Washington, DC, or schedule an appointment online.