If you notice a hard bump on the side of your big toe joint, you may have a bunion. At Queen City Foot and Ankle Specialists in Charlotte, North Carolina, Roxanne Burgess, DPM, understands how uncomfortable a bunion can be. Dr. Burgess offers a variety of treatments, including custom orthotics and medication therapy, to relieve existing bunion pain and provides guidance to protect the health of your toes and reduce your risk for developing painful bunions. To schedule a diagnostic evaluation of a suspected bunion, call the practice or book online today.

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What are bunions?

A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe. These painful bumps are often the result of wearing tight-fitting shoes or due to age-related changes in your feet. You may also be at increased risk for bunions if you have an inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

As the bony protrusion rubs against your shoes, it causes friction that results in persistent irritation and pain. You may find it increasingly difficult to wear shoes for long periods of time or walk without discomfort.

While bunions develop over time, they can become severe enough to force your big toe over your second toe. This can cause a painful deformity that ultimately interferes with your mobility.

How are bunions diagnosed?

Diagnosing a bunion is often possible through just a physical exam of your toes. Dr. Burgess will review your medical history and discuss how the symptoms of a bunion are interfering with your quality of life.

To evaluate the severity and progression of the bunion, Dr. Burgess may also request X-rays to determine the best course of treatment.

How are bunions treated?

Initially, Dr. Burgess can treat bunions in the earliest stages with lifestyle changes and recommendations for custom orthotics. When your bunion is still small, she can recommend the right type of shoe to wear to prevent the condition from advancing.

You should wear the right-sized shoe that offers enough room for your toes. Avoid high heels, pointed-toe shoes, and other confining shoe styles that crowd or irritate your toes.

Dr. Burgess may also suggest adding padding to your shoes or the use of custom orthotics to relieve pressure on the big toe joint that worsens the bunion and causes pain. You may benefit from over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers to keep you comfortable.

If a bunion progresses far enough to cause a deformity in your toes, Dr. Burgess can determine if you’re a good candidate for surgery. Bunion surgery focuses on realigning the toe joints, tendons, and surrounding tissue to correct the deformity and restore function in your foot.

Find out more about your options for treating and preventing bunions by calling Queen City Foot and Ankle Specialists or by booking an appointment online today.