Are you experiencing pain in the area of your big toe? Do you notice redness and a bony bump? These symptoms commonly belong to an acquired foot deformity called a bunion. Also known as hallux valgus, bunions affect up to 23 percent of adults in the United States, say the National Institutes of Health. More sufferers are women, but men get bunions, too. Your West Houston, TX, podiatrists, Dr. Samuel Mendecino, Dr. Asia Lo and Dr. Manish Patel at the Foot & Ankle Institute, can help you deal with the pain, deformity and even immobility that happens with bunions. They'll get you back on your feet and feeling great again.
Bunions and how we get them
A bunion is located at the base of the big toe. Through repeated pressure or even through wearing tight, pointed shoes, that first toe joint can develop stiffness and inflammation. Left untreated, the toe itself begins to turn toward the second toe. Other foot deformities such as hammertoes happen, too.
When your podiatrist in West Houston, TX, sees bunions, he or she tries to understand how they may have developed so they may be treated properly. The staff at the Foot & Ankle Institute maintain that several factors lead to bunion formation:
- Heredity (bunions can run in families)
- Narrow shoes
- High heels
- Repetitive stress such as bouncing on the toes during a tennis game
- Age (typically over 60)
While your foot doctor in West Houston cannot eliminate everything that produces bunions, they do advise wearing sensible shoes with wide toe boxes and heels no higher than one inch. Additionally, warm soaks comfort aching feet as do pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Of course, over the counter gel pads and moleskin cotton padding take pressure off this bony prominence. In addition, the doctors at Foot & Ankle Institute offer customized shoe inserts (also called orthotics) which correct gait problems, align the big toe joint and allow for foot flexibility.
As a final resort, the podiatrist may recommend surgery. Bunion surgeries aim to realign the toe and take pressure off the underlying structures such as the sesamoid bones). Just like orthotics, bunion surgeries are highly customized to accomplish the best results for individual patients. The professional staff at Foot & Ankle Institute has extensive experience in all kinds of podiatric surgeries. So you know that with proper rest, immobilization if needed and recovery time, your bunion surgery will produce great results.
If you suspect you have a bunion or other foot deformity, please don't wait. Dr. Mendecino, Dr. Lo and Dr. Patel are the West Houston, TX, podiatrists you can trust to solve your problem. For a personal consultation, please contact the office at (281) 531-4100.