Do you recall when your Grandmother complained about her bunions? While a sore, reddened bony bump at the base of the big toe often happens as we age, younger people get bunions, too--even athletes and children. And, they're nothing to joke about because these toe joint problems cause significant pain and impair walking and other activities of daily living. That's why Dr. David Blumfield, Dr. Michael Mineo, Dr. Jorge Matuk and Dr. Maria Buitrago at Podiatry Associates of Houston ask anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of bunions to get a podiatric evaluation right away.
How bunions happen
Bunions in Houston are a biomechanical problem, says the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Heredity may factor into their formation; in other words, you may have inherited your grandmother's foot structure! However, having an occupation where you stand on your feet constantly or wearing shoes that are too narrow or provide inadequate support are often the culprits in bunion formation and flare-up of symptoms. The APMA says that women are much more likely than men to develop bunions.
What your podiatrist looks for and suggests
If you suspect you have a bunion, your podiatrist will ask you about the location and severity of your symptoms and what aggravates and relieves them. in addition, the doctor will visually inspect your foot to see how your toes move. He or she may take X-rays of the area of concern. Sometimes blood tests are ordered to rule out health conditions such as gout.
With a confirmed diagnosis, your foot doctor may advise:
- Padding the joint to relieve pressure and friction
- Custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts, to ensure proper joint alignment when you walk
- Night time splints
- Stretching exercises
- Removal of calluses and corns which can develop due to the friction between the bunion and your shoe
In severe cases, a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy may be warranted.
Contact the Office
If you are experiencing some of the symptoms discussed here, please don't wait. Contact Podiatry Associates of Houston right away for a one-on-one consultation with one of our foot doctors. Call at one of these offices: Chimney Rock (713) 467-0287, Memorial City (713) 467-1299, Katy (281) 579-0186 or Willowbrook (832) 912-7792.