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Bunions: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Bunions—they're something only an old grandma would have, right? In reality, these bony bumps on the side of the foot and the base of the big toe are very common and can develop at any age. Those with bunions experience a limited mobility and substantial discomfort. AtFoot Bunion East Texas Foot & Ankle Center in Tyler, TX, experienced podiatrist, Dr. James Kent, sees and treats scores of bunions annually—read below to see how he can make you feel well again!

How bunions start

The metatarsophalangeal joint at the bottom of the big toe takes substantial pressure from daily walking and standing. Over time—particularly if you are overweight or wear narrow, high-heeled shoes—a pronounced and uncomfortable bump, or Hallux valgus, can form. Calluses and soreness from friction against the shoe add to the problem, and the big toe, and even second and third toes, may turn inward toward the midline of the foot.

While women form more bunions than men do, bunions are not just a female issue. This foot deformity seems to have a hereditary component; in other words, foot structure, and therefore, bunions, run in families.

What you should do

If you suspect that you are developing a bunion, contact Dr. Kent right away for a foot examination and X-ray screening in our Tyler, TX office. Afterward, we will diagnose the problem, and if it is a bunion, customize a care plan to alleviate the symptoms and keep the deformity from worsening. Many patients do not require surgery (bunionectomy or osteotomy) although that is an option as needed.

Usually, patients respond well to more conservative care plans which may include:

  • Changing shoes to ones with more cushioning, roomier toe boxes, flexible materials, and lower heels (no higher than 2-1/2 inches, as advised by the American Podiatric Medical Association)
  • Rest
  • Ice to reduce swelling
  • Elevation
  • Shoe padding
  • Massage
  • Cortisone shots
  • Customized orthotics (shoe inserts) to reduce friction and to correct gait issues (how you place your feet when you walk)

Interested? Contact our Tyler, TX, office today!

Give East Texas Foot & Ankle Center a call to arrange a consultation with Dr. Kent. He and his caring team set the highest standards for your podiatric health and strive for the best possible patient outcomes. Phone us today at (903) 939-3668!

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