Ladies, are you having problems fitting into your favorite heels to strut around Downtown? Gentlemen, do your feet feel suffocated in your shoes by the end of the night out in Jax Beach? Do you have bumps on the insides of your feet next to your big toe? If so, you may have... bunions! Bunions occur when the bones of your foot have changed shape or orientation. Ultimately, the cause is genetic -- either your supportive structures are not strong enough to hold your bones in place, or the way your foot strikes the ground causes the bones to shift and protrude. Bunions are a mild problem, but can lead to pain and blisters. Cosmetically, many people just don't like the way they look and unfortunately can become more pronounced as we age. This is a very common condition seen at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic. The primary goal for Dr. Vimal Reddy, or any podiatrist, is to improve functionality. If you can walk with little to no pain then we are happy! However, bunions often become painful and the first effort is conservative treatment:
- Padding: simple pads will take pressure off of the bunion and alleviate the pain and blistering.
- Shoe sizing: As we advance in age, our feet change. Have Dr. Reddy measure your shoe size to determine if you need a better fitting shoe.
- Orthotics: If the way your foot hits the ground is the cause of your problems, an orthotic shoe insert will correct the way you walk and work towards taking pressure off of the bunion, thus alleviating the pain.
If these treatments are not enough, we may need to try a more aggressive approach such as surgery. Nevertheless, Dr. Reddy always makes surgery his last resort. In addition to the usual surgical risks, there is no guarantee the end result of bunion surgery is any more cosmetically pleasing than your natural foot and over time your feet may revert back to the way they were. However, a trained and experienced podiatric surgeon will know how to address these risks.