Hello, my name is Dr. Rachel Glick, a podiatrist at Ankle N Foot Centers and Director of the Belmont Ankle N Foot Centers. Pain, no matter where in the body, is never normal and if it persists for more than 72 hours should be evaluated by a licensed physician.
A bunion is a bony prominence on the side of the foot, at the base of the big toe joint.
This enlargement of the joint can be aggravated by sports and tight shoes. The big toe will usually continue to drift sideways and cause an increase of the “bunion” bump. This sideways drift also affects other toes and joints-as it presses on them, may cause additional arthritis and more pain in other areas of the foot (for example a neuroma, or pain in the ball of the foot, a condition known as metatarsalgia).
Another common big toe joint problem without a bump, or a bump on the top of the foot is hallux limitus. This is limitation of motion of the big toe joint, usually progressive and will cause arthritis. This is a common problem with runners, football and soccer players and will limit their performance.
A Hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe that results in a bending deformity. Ligaments and tendons of the toe are also tightened, which cause the joint to buckle and contract upward instead of lying flat. Although hammertoes are largely genetic, bunions can push the big toe against the other toes causing this contracture.
With time, the toe joint can swell causing pain and a corn or callus to form from the constant rubbing of shoewear. This callus may cause skin ulceration, if not treated.
Conservative treatments aim in reducing symptoms, and are always tried first. That said, both conditions may lead to partial dislocations with residual arthritis of these toes.
Surgical re-alignment is a more definitive approach in ridding the pain from bony prominences, irritated nerves and joints, and preventing the recurrence of pain.
Correction for a bunion or hammertoes is performed in an out patient setting and because of current fixation techniques, early protected weight bearing post-operatively is possible. Pain is minimized with just rest, ice, and elevation and special post-op care. Digital x-rays are taken to monitor healing, and in house physical therapy done at the AnkleNFootCenters to help achieve your goal to return to normal activity.
Again, this is Dr. Rachel Glick, and on behalf of myself and the entire staff at Ankle N foot Centers we would like to let you know same-day or next-day appointments are available.
We look forward to meeting you and thank you for entrusting us to your care.