6 Things You Need to Know About Bunions

Would you believe that there’s a foot condition that affects almost a quarter of the adult population aged 18-65? The same affliction plagues about 36% of adults over 65.

These figures come to us courtesy of the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research – but our podiatrists could have approximated these numbers just from our own experience here at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. We’re talking about hallux valgus, or, in more common terms – bunions. Bunions are really common and Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts treat them often at our podiatry practice in Montgomery, Alabama.

A bunion develops when the big toe (hallux) deviates from its normal position, bending inward and causing the base of the big toe to bulge outward.

On the surface, that slanting big toe

  1. Can cause tenderness and pain at the base of the big toe
  2. Makes the foot less attractive
  3. Makes wearing shoes a challenge

But beyond these basic effects of a bunion lie deeper, more far-reaching consequences

  1. A bunion can get so painful that even walking becomes difficult
  2. Your deformed big toe can exert so much pressure on your other toes that they themselves become deformed
  3. They can negatively affect your balance. Poor balance is an especially significant effect of bunions in the older population. Senior citizens with bunions are at a higher risk of falling!

Not necessarily your shoes

By the way, if you’ve got a bunion, don’t beat yourself up about how you got it. People may tell you that you get a bunion from wearing tight shoes or high heels. Those are factors that may have contributed to the quick progression of a bunion. But it’s possible that the tendency for bunions runs in your family and you would have gotten them anyway. You may have also sustained an injury that contributed to the formation of a bunion.

Whatever the reason for your bunion, it’s our recommendation that you make an appointment with our foot doctors to have it evaluated. X-rays will show us how far along it’s developed and whether or not it’s affecting the other bones in your foot. We can also help you with recommendations for footwear, custom shoe inserts that relieve pressure, and ways to slow down the progression of this unwelcome bony growth. Give us a call at (334) 396-3668 or contact us online.