Bunions, the bony lumps on the inside of the feet, aren't always just abnormal-looking. For some patients at American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Sun City and Scottsdale, AZ, bunions are painful and make walking difficult. In these instances, Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas have a variety of ways to treat the pain and help you regain proper movement. They discuss some of these treatments below.
A common complication associated with bunions is the friction that is placed on them while wearing shoes. For this problem, your Sun City and Scottsdale podiatrist will make recommendations on specific products that can be purchased at your local drugstore. There are splints available to help hold the big toe away from the others; the goal is to gradually guide the joint back into place. There are also gel-filled or cushioned pads that can provide a barrier between your bunion and the inside of your shoe; they often look like a sleeve that fits over the front part of the foot and the big toe. Wearing shoe inserts in combination with a bunion pad ensures that your feet are positioned properly and the pressure is evenly distributed.
Sometimes severe bunions do not respond well to "one-size-fits-all" treatments. In cases such as these, your podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to wear inside your shoes. Orthotics are made from your specific measurements, ensuring a perfect fit that accommodates your needs. You may also need to wear specialized shoes that allow enough room in the toe box for the displaced joint.
If your bunion has caused you unrelenting pain for at least a year, your podiatrist may suggest surgery. This is especially true if the bunion has led to additional issues like hammertoes or bursitis. With bunion surgery, the main goal is to reposition the big toe back into place; this is accomplished by realigning the ligaments, bones, and muscles in the immediate area of the bunion. Recovery from foot surgery can be lengthy, so most physicians advise giving conservative treatments time to work first.
To have your bunions or any foot-related problem evaluated, contact American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Sun City and Scottsdale, AZ today.