You can see that bump on the side of your big toe; you’re getting a bunion. You’re still walking fine, so does it need treatment? Learn six reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your bunion.
You’ve noticed a bump on the side of your big toe, and it has grown. You have a bunion. About one-third of adults in the United States develop bunions, and they’re more common in women.
A bunion is a bone deformity of the first metatarsal, the long bone that runs near your big toe. Many bunions become more pronounced and more painful over time if left untreated.
Our board-certified podiatrists at Platte River Foot and Ankle Surgeons treat many cases of bunions. We use conservative treatment when we can. Some cases are advanced, however, and require surgery. Following are six reasons to seek early treatment for a bunion.
Wearing your shoes becomes painful
If your bunion is small, it may not bother you much. However, with no intervention, your bunion is likely to keep growing. When you try to walk, your toe is going to rub against the side of your shoe, creating painful friction.
Without treatment, your bunion may grow to the point where every step causes discomfort. You may end up walking on the side of your foot, causing body misalignment that can adversely affect your feet, knees, and/or hips.
Your shoes won’t fit
Your shoe choices are going to diminish as the bunion grows. You may not be able to fit into the shoes in your closet anymore. You may need to spend money replacing shoes, whether it’s with more supportive athletic wear or shoes with wider toe boxes.
Arthritis can develop
Because your big toe begins to face inward as a result of the bunion, your toe joint is out of position. You’re constantly bearing weight on a joint that’s not correctly aligned with your foot.
Over time, your big toe joint can develop arthritis as a result of the bone’s misalignment. The cartilage becomes too thin, causing bones to rub together.
Bone spurs can form
Bunions can cause painful bone spurs. Your toe’s misalignment causes bones in your toes to rub against each other. Sometimes this causes excess bone growth. A bone spur is the production of too much bone, causing a deformity.
Bunions can cause hammertoes
Your big toe deformity can result in deformity in other toes. When your big toe is out of alignment, it pushes other toes out of alignment, also.
One possibility is that you may develop a hammertoe. The toe begins to curve into the shape of a ball. You may not be able to move the toe into the correct position anymore. Some hammertoes need surgery.
You can develop pain in the ball of your foot
Bunions move your toes out of proper alignment. This puts more pressure on your metatarsal bones, the long bones in your feet. You could develop pain in the ball of your foot as a result of the faulty biomechanics created with metatarsal misalignment.
Contact Platte River Foot & Ankle Surgeons if you see a bunion developing on your toe. We have offices throughout Nebraska. Call (402) 225-6856, text us at 402-303-0418 or request an appointment here on our website.