Front Range Foot and Ankle Clinic
Daniel Mallett, DPM
Podiatrist & Wound Care Specialist located in Parker, CO
Bunions cause misshapen feet and often, a lot of pain, as well. If you have a bunion that’s slowly getting larger, don’t ignore it. At Front Range Foot and Ankle Clinic, podiatrist Daniel Mallett, DPM, offers expert bunion assessment along with a variety of personalized treatment approaches. If a bunion is causing you pain or discomfort, call the Parker, Colorado, office or use the online scheduler.
What are bunions?
A bunion is a bony prominence at the bottom of your big toe. Bunions occur when the bone structure of your feet shifts significantly, starting with the two bones in your metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.
When the bottom part of your MTP joint, the first metatarsal, moves out of alignment, it forces the top part of your MTP joint (the phalanx, or toe bone) to move the other way. The result is a big toe that leans toward your other toes and a prominent bony bump at the base of the toe.
Over time, the MTP joint moves even more, causing a more obvious bunion bump and increased toe tilting. With severe bunions, your big toe can overlap the next toe entirely. As your bunion worsens, you’re likely to have a number of uncomfortable physical symptoms.
What are the symptoms of a bunion?
Symptoms occur in and around the bunion, with common issues including:
- Pain or soreness
- Red skin
- Burning sensation
- Restricted movement
Bunions can also lead to other foot problems. For example, when your big toe overlaps the next one, you can develop a callus or ingrown toenail as the toe rubs against your shoe.
Another example is hammertoe, in which your small toes buckle under because of biomechanical foot changes from the bunion.
What causes bunions?
Bunions aren’t inherited, but mechanical foot structure is. So, if your parents had faulty foot structure, which often leads to bunions, you’re more likely to have the same problem.
Wearing tight shoes doesn’t cause bunions. But, they can sometimes worsen a bunion once it’s established. Regularly wearing shoes like high heels may also cause a bunion to appear sooner than it would have otherwise.
Diabetes causes nerve and vascular damage, which can contribute to bunions, among other foot problems.
How do you treat a bunion?
At Front Range Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Mallett uses conservative approaches with an emphasis on patient education. He can help you manage discomfort effectively with treatments such as:
- Changing your shoes
- Custom orthotics
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs)
- Avoiding pain-triggering activities
- Ice packs
If conservative methods aren’t working, Dr. Mallett might recommend bunion surgery. During surgery, he removes the bump and reconstructs the affected part of your foot. He typically uses internal fixation devices like pins and screws to prevent bunion recurrence in the future.
If you’re looking for relief from your bunion pain, call Front Range Foot and Ankle Clinic or set up an appointment using online booking.