When style takes priority over comfort, there’s usually a price to pay. When you’re talking about footwear, that price might be bunions. Over time, shoes that press your toes together can cause changes to the joints of your big toe and sometimes to your baby toe.
It’s not always shoes though. Bunions can also develop because of genetics and medical conditions, too. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you got the condition. It is important, though, to seek treatment, since bunions can become painful and lead to further complications.
At Jersey Foot & Ankle Institute, Ankur Dharia, DPM, can give your feet a thorough evaluation and treat your bunions.
Is it a bunion?
If your big toe or baby toe takes an inward turn at the base joint where the toe meets your foot, you’ve got a bunion. That joint will be prominent, and the skin over it may seem stretched. Furthermore, the joint may be red, tender to the touch, or constantly sore.
You may also see corns and calluses on or around the affected toe and its neighbors, due to the unusual contact of the toe deformity. An affected toe may also experience reductions in its range of motion.
How bunions form
The experts are still undecided whether shoes cause bunions or simply contribute to their formation. The precise reason why some people develop the joint issue while others don’t is still a medical mystery, though it’s known that there are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing bunions. These factors include:
Narrow or pointed shoes
These types of shoes press and hold your outer toes inward, aggravating the conditions that can cause bunions, corns, and calluses.
These shoes put a downward pressure on the toes, further complicating the effects of narrow or pointy designs
Rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis
Inflammatory joint conditions, including rheumatoid or gouty arthritis, can increase your chances of developing bunions.
Congenital structural defects at birth or a family history of developing bunions may increase your risk of developing them as well.
You may not always develop further foot problems from your bunions, but once you have a bunion, it’s there for good unless you have surgery to correct the problem. If you choose to live with a bunion, some of the additional foot problems you could develop include:
The bursa sacs, which protect joints from impact, can become inflamed and thus cause pressure inside the joint.
If you have a bunion, the condition can lead to metatarsalgia, which is inflammation and pain in the ball of your foot.
Hammertoe is a deformation of the middle joint in the second toe, which can be caused by the pressure exerted by the bunion in big toe.
The pain arising from a bunion can cause changes to your gait, which in turn can affect other joints and your ability to get around, including pain in your back, hips, and knees.
If you have bunions and want treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Jersey Foot & Ankle Institute today. Dr. Dharia and his team will get you back on your feet again.