Bunions services offered in Clarksville, Nashville and Erin, TN and Hopkinsville, KY

Bunions are painful bony lumps that make walking difficult if you don’t seek treatment. At their offices in Clarksville, Nashville, and Erin, Tennessee, and Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the  Gateway Foot and Ankle Center team uses conservative treatments to relieve pain and swelling in mild bunions. They also perform expert bunion surgery for patients with more severe bunions. If you spot signs of a bunion forming, don’t wait for it to get worse. Call Gateway Foot and Ankle Center today or book an appointment online for prompt relief of bunion pain.

What are bunions?

A bunion (hallux valgus) is an abnormality affecting the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of your big toe. This results in a bony lump developing on the inside of your foot. 

You could also suffer from bunionettes or tailor’s bunions — smaller lumps at the base of your little toe.

Bunions get bigger as time passes, causing swelling and reddened skin that looks stretched and shiny. You might have increasing pain in the affected toe’s joint, and as the lump grows, it can become hard to wear shoes or walk far because of the discomfort.

What causes bunions?

A bunion looks like a bony growth, but it’s actually the bottom of the bone sticking out. This happens because your toe points inward toward your other toes instead of forward. The more your toe points inward, the worse your bunion gets.

Bunions develop for many reasons, and it’s often a combination of factors that lead to bunion formation. Some of the issues that increase your risk of bunions include:

  • Foot injuries 
  • Congenital foot abnormalities (conditions you’re born with)
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Arthritis 
  • Faulty foot development
  • Inherited foot type
  • Abnormal walking patterns

A leading trigger for bunion development is your footwear. If you wear shoes that are too tight or have very pointed toes, it encourages your toes to angle inward. High heels are also a problem because they put excessive strain on the MTP joint and often have pointed toes too.

What treatments are available for bunions?

If you start getting a bunion, use ice packs to ease inflammation and swelling. Avoid wearing footwear that aggravates the bunion, and make an appointment to see one of Gateway Foot and Ankle Center’s skilled podiatrists.

They examine your bunion and listen to you describe your symptoms. They might also perform diagnostic imaging procedures like X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT) to see the joint in more detail.

After the evaluation, your podiatrist designs a personalized treatment plan for you that could include:

  • Custom orthotics (supportive shoe inserts)
  • Taping or padding
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Anti-inflammatory steroid injections

If you get treatment early enough, these methods can ease the pain and prevent the bunion from getting worse. A severe bunion or one that doesn’t improve with conservative treatment might require minimally invasive surgery.

For expert bunion care, call Gateway Foot and Ankle Center today or book an appointment online.