Birch Tree Foot and Ankle
Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Traverse City, MI
Researchers estimate that 10-25% of American adults have bunions. Without intervention and treatment, these painful bony growths can affect your mobility and quality of life. At Birch Tree Foot and Ankle, fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon Jeffrey Weber, DPM, boasts years of experience treating bunions. To make an appointment at the practice in Traverse City or Manistee, Michigan, call the nearest office or click the online booking tool today.
What are bunions?
Bunions are hard, bony growths that form on the outside edge of the joint at the base of your big toe. They occur when the bones in your toe change position, affecting the alignment of your joint.
Bunions affect people of all ages and genders, but they’re especially common in women who wear high heels or other tight shoes that crowd the toes together. Other factors that increase the risk of bunions include rheumatoid arthritis and foot abnormalities.
What are the symptoms of bunions?
Common symptoms of bunions include:
- Swelling, redness, or stiffness around the big toe
- Corns and calluses
- Persistent toe pain
- Limited movement of the big toe
- Toe pain that spreads into your foot
Most bunions respond to conservative treatments and resolve on their own. If your bunions affect your mobility or prevent you from participating in routine tasks, contact Dr. Weber right away.
Is there any way to prevent bunions?
There’s no way to prevent bunions entirely, but you can significantly lower your risk by wearing comfortable supportive shoes.
Dr. Weber recommends that anyone with a history of bunions wear shoes with a wide-toe box. If you’re unable to wiggle your toes after tying your shoes, they’re too tight.
How are bunions diagnosed?
To diagnose bunions, Dr. Weber examines your foot and asks about your symptoms, including their severity, when they first started, and if certain types of shoes or activities make them worse.
If Dr. Weber suspects an underlying issue, like a fracture or heel spur, is the source of your discomfort, he might also order X-rays or an MRI.
How are bunions treated?
Treatment of bunions depends on the growth’s size and location as well as the severity of your symptoms. Usually, Dr. Weber recommends conservative treatments like:
- Wearing more comfortable shoes
- Using shoe inserts
- Padding your bunions with cushions
- Applying ice
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication
If these measures don’t ease your symptoms and your foot pain persists, surgical intervention may be necessary. There are several types of bunion surgery. The type that will most benefit you depends on your age and medical history.
Following an in-office exam and a discussion of your goals, Dr. Weber designs a custom care plan that aligns with your needs.
To learn more about the treatment of bunions, make an appointment at Birch Tree Foot and Ankle by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.
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