Bunions are a deformity of joints of the outer toes that can sometimes be quite painful. Anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of American adults suffer from bunions. This deformity usually takes the form of a hard bump where the big toe attaches to the foot, and that toe may push toward the smaller toes, emphasizing the size of the joint.
It’s not known exactly what causes bunions, but there’s sometimes a genetic link since they seem to run in families. Bunions can result from foot injuries and are also associated with inflammatory forms of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis.
If you’re bothered by bunions or any other foot pain, a visit to podiatrist Dr. Errol Gindi could bring you prompt relief. Practicing for over 39 years, Dr. Gindi specializes in treating foot disorders, including bunions, bunionettes, and hammertoes.
Five telltale symptoms of bunions
Besides the misshapen nature of the big toe base joint, there are other signs that you could be developing a bunion. The five key signs and symptoms of bunions are:
- Distortion and/or enlargement of the big toe at its base joint, pointing it toward the other toes of that foot
- Chronic soreness or pain in the base joint of the big toe
- Red skin over the joint bump that may feel warm to the touch
- Burning sensations in the toe when you’re standing or walking
- Numbness in the toe when you’re standing or walking
These symptoms can be more pronounced when you’re wearing shoes of poor design or a bad fit. Any shoe that compresses your toes together can aggravate bunion development or pain. Many high-heel shoes can also contribute to bunions.
When these symptoms appear in combination, it’s usually easy to suspect you have a bunion. Dr. Gindi can examine your foot and order X-rays if needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Are you likely to develop bunions?
There are several risk factors that may help you predict your chances of developing a bunion. Age is often a factor since the prevalence of bunions increases with older demographics. If you have parents, grandparents or siblings with bunions, your chances are greater for developing your own.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you’re more likely to develop bunions, even if you don’t have symptoms yet. Similarly, repeated gout attacks can also cause symptoms.
Poor footwear choices may not cause bunions on their own, but they can aggravate other factors and they may be part of the bunion development equation. Once a bunion starts, your choice of shoe could determine how much you’re bothered by symptoms.
Without treatment, bunions could lead to complications such as bursitis, hammertoe or metatarsalgia; all of which can cause serious pain and discomfort.
Book your appointment with Dr. Gindi the second you feel symptoms so you can improve the condition and stop bunion development in its tracks. Visit our website today to schedule an appointment.