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A bunion is a toe deformity that affects the big toe. A similar condition that affects the small toe is called a bunionette. Both conditions are characterized by a bony growth and a tendency of the affected toe to bend and push into the other toes.
Bunions and bunionettes tend to grow slowly, and since they don’t cause noticeable problems in the early stages, many people, unfortunately, neglect to have them treated until they worsen. At that point, the toe has become more bent and rigid and you may also be dealing with overlapping toe problems as well. Surgery may then be your only option, so be sure to see your podiatrist when you first notice the toe bending and bump forming.
1) Wear properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box and use orthotic inserts—This will support your feet correctly and allow the bunion bump to move with less pressure and rubbing that can cause blistering, redness, and pain. Orthotic inserts can be used to spread the toes and redirect pressure.
2) Bunion braces—This Velcro-assisted device is used to straighten the big toe and pull it away from the other toes. It can be worn while sleeping and it will take from several weeks to months for the toe to become more properly aligned.
3) Physical therapy—Toe stiffness and weakness can exacerbate toe conditions. A variety of toe strengthening and mobility exercises can keep the toes limber and slow further bending. Towel scrunches and marble pick up is two such exercises.
For expert advice on bunion treatment, see your foot doctor for an evaluation. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX (county of Dallas) is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.