Bunions are painful bony bumps that make it difficult to walk, run, or stand for long periods. At Universal Footcare in Chelsea, Manhattan, board-certified podiatrist Neha Pathak, DPM, uses her years of training and expertise to diagnose and treat bunions. To schedule an appointment at the New York City-based practice, call the office or book online today.
Bunions are hard, bony growths that occur on the outside edge of your foot at the base of the big toe. They form when the bones in the front of your foot move out of place, causing your big toe to press on your second and third toes.
This increased pressure forces the big toe joint outward, resulting in swelling and general discomfort.
Bunions form slowly over a lengthy period of time. As a result, you might not realize there’s a problem at first. As a bunion grows larger, it puts more pressure on your toes, increasing your risk of pain and other mobility issues.
The most obvious symptom of a bunion is a large, swollen bump near your big toe. Other telltale signs of a bunion include:
As your bunion grows bigger, you might also find it difficult to bend or place weight on your big toe.
Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes bunions to form, but several factors may play a role. For example, bunions often run in families. If you inherited an unusual foot structure from your mother or father, you may be at risk.
Other factors that contribute to bunions include wearing poorly fitting shoes that feature a narrow toe box or having an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis.
To diagnose bunions, Dr. Pathak physically examines your feet and toes. Bunions are usually large enough to observe visually.
She also orders X-rays to determine the severity of your bunion and its effect on the joints and bones in your toe.
Whenever possible, Dr. Pathak recommends conservative, non-surgical treatments to ease pain and discomfort caused by bunions. If your symptoms are mild or moderate, she might recommend changing shoes, icing your bunion regularly, or wearing custom orthotics. You can purchase orthotics at Universal Footcare.
If your symptoms are severe and interfere with your quality of life, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Pathak uses minimally invasive surgery to treat bunions. Minimally invasive surgery uses small incisions and surgical tools to get you back on your feet quickly.
Following surgery, you’ll attend regular postoperative visits combined with physical therapy. Physical therapy encourages your body’s natural healing process, limiting pain and inflammation while promoting mobility.
Don’t let bunions prevent you from living your best life. To schedule an appointment at Universal Footcare, call the office or book online today.