Midwest Foot & Ankle Associates
Biren Shah, DPM
Foot and Ankle Surgeon & Podiatrist located in Rockford, IL
If your bunions cause pain or make you want to hide your feet, it’s time to discuss treatment options with a specialist. As a leading podiatrist in the Rockford, Illinois, community, Biren Shah, DPM, specializes in bunion repair. Make an appointment at Midwest Foot and Ankle Associates by calling the office or booking an appointment online.
Bunion Q & A
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the side of the foot when the big toe is pushed out of alignment. The big toe bends inward, sending the joint out to the side.
Bunions form after years of uneven pressure on the foot from your gait or tight shoes. They can cause considerable pain and other complications, especially while walking or wearing shoes.
What increases my risk of bunions?
The following conditions may make you more likely to develop bunions:
- Wearing narrow or tight shoes that squeeze your toes
- Abnormal foot development
- Injury to the foot or metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint
- Arthritis or inflammatory joint disease
- Participating in work or sports that place pressure on the feet
Hereditary factors also influence your risk of developing bunions. If you inherit poor foot mechanics from your parents, you may be more prone to bunions.
When should I see a doctor about my bunions?
Most of the time, bunions don’t require medical care. However, you should see Dr. Shah in the following instances:
- Bunions cause considerable pain or discomfort
- The condition prevents you from performing daily tasks
- At-home treatments are ineffective
When treated early, bunions usually require minor, non-invasive treatment. Bunions are more likely to worsen and require surgical treatment the longer they’re left untreated.
How are bunions treated?
At home, you can try ice, store-bought bunion pads, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to ease uncomfortable symptoms. However, it’s best to seek medical treatment when your bunions become problematic.
Dr. Shah usually begins treatment with footwear adjustments, toe spacers, padding, and tape to keep the big toe in alignment and help alleviate your symptoms. The next step might involve custom orthotics and cortisone injections to relieve the pain and pressure.
If your symptoms are more severe and conservative treatments aren’t helping, Dr. Shah may recommend one of the following surgical options:
- Bunionectomy: removal of the bony bump
- Osteotomy: cutting the bone and realigning the toe joint
- Arthrodesis: removal of arthritic tissue and insertion of screws or plates to realign the joint
If you notice a bunion forming on the side of your foot, contact Midwest Foot and Ankle Associates online or over the phone to begin treatment right away.