Most people don’t think of bunions as a joint problem, but that bony bump represents a problem with your main big toe joint — and possibly with the rest of your foot, if you don’t get treatment. That’s why you need a foot anatomy expert like Aamir Mahmood, DPM, at Momentum Foot & Ankle Clinic when you’re dealing with bunions. Dr. Mahmood is a board-qualified podiatrist who’s also an experienced surgeon, so he offers both nonoperative and surgical treatments for bunions. Call any of the three practice offices in Michigan City and Chesterton, Indiana, and Lombard, Illinois, or use the online appointment tool to set up an appointment now.
A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a hard bump around the big toe joint, also known as the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. Bunions are painful as well as unsightly.
They’re one of the most common kinds of foot deformity, and one of the leading reasons why patients visit Momentum Foot & Ankle Clinic.
Bunions develop when the bones that form your MTP joint drift out of position. This creates the painful bony protrusion outward, and it also pushes your big toe toward the little toes. You put pressure on the MTP joint with every step, which means that bunions usually grow larger without treatment.
As the bunion expands, it interferes with your balance and makes walking difficult. It's also hard to wear shoes when you have a bunion, as the bump rubs against your shoe and greatly irritates the skin there.
The exact reason for the changes within your MTP joint can vary.
You can inherit faulty foot biomechanics that make you vulnerable to bunions.
Foot trauma can cause changes in bone alignment that can lead to bunions.
Inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, can cause joint damage that leads to bunions.
Wearing tight shoes doesn’t cause bunions. If you have a foot type that’s already at risk for bunions, however, tight shoes like high heels can certainly make bunions develop faster.
Bunion treatment methods vary widely based on the bunion severity and how it affects you. For smaller bunions that aren’t yet causing severe symptoms, nonoperative care can be quite successful. Some treatments may include:
These treatments can relieve bunion pain and prevent progression, but nonoperative care may not help when you have a very prominent bunion.
For large bunions that cause seriously impaired foot function, Dr. Mahmood may recommend surgery. During surgery, he can reposition your MTP joint bones and the soft tissues surrounding it. He may use internal fixation, like plates, pins, and screws, to keep your joint stable.
At Momentum Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Mahmood puts bunion pain to rest. Call the office located in your area, or use the online appointment booking tool now.