Your left foot is very painful when you walk. The discomfort centers on the joint at the bottom of your big toe. Could it be a bunion? Bunions affect a full third of the population in the US. Learn here about this common foot deformity and Dr. John Murphy at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD can help.
What is a bunion?
Basically, it's a painful bump on the side of the foot at the big toe joint. Characterized by redness, swelling and tenderness, a bunion impacts how easily you walk and even leads to callus and corn formation at the side and bottom of the foot. Left untreated, bursitis and arthritis can develop in the joint.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association agree a bunion has a distinct hereditary component. In other words, if your relatives have had bunions, you, too, may be prone to them. However, foot care professionals also say that poorly fitting shoes put pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the big toe--so much so that the joint bulges.
Additionally, the big toe often moves in toward the second toe, and in extreme cases, the second toe can move in toward the third toe. Hammertoes and other podiatric defects can result.
Dr. Murphy has extensive experience in treating deformities of the lower extremities. In fact, he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and has treated numerous bunions in his years of practice in Ellicott City.
If you present with a painful foot, he'll do a hands-on examination, watch you walk, ask you about your symptoms, current health history and medications and take some digital X-rays. If you have a bunion, he may advise any one of a combination of several treatments. Your foot doctor will individualize your care plan according to the particulars of your case.
Treatments may include:
- A simple change of shoes to ones with a wider toe box and more support
- Removal of any corns and calluses
- Customized shoes inserts (orthotics) to remove the pressure from the joint and to normalize your gait
- Night time splints
- Shoe padding
- Surgery (bunionectomy)
- Over the counter analgesics
Walk well, feel great
You can when you visit Maryland Podiatric Center for your bunion and all your foot health needs. Contact the office in Ellicott City, MD for your consultation today: (410) 992-8504.