Bunions are not as harmless as most people think. These are not blisters that can heal on their own. A bunion is a bony bump that forms due to a misalignment of the big toe joint. It makes it look like the big toe has shifted out of position. When an issue involves a joint in the foot, it is clearly not a superficial problem.
It is hard to ignore a bunion as it tends to interfere with daily living. If ignored too long, a bunion can lead to serious complications.
What Happens to Untreated Bunions?
Bunions are a progressive problem. You can experience any of the following if you let your bunion be without treatment:
- Severe pain and discomfort. Bunions can cause pain and discomfort since most shoes are not made to accommodate bunions. Being on your feet too long can also exasperate symptoms.
- Impaired foot function. The misalignment can impair foot function. Your big toe’s movement will increasingly become restricted. Over time, the big toe will make it difficult to balance, which changes your gait. Eventually, it will become difficult to stand or walk. This is a podiatric issue that impairs safety and function.
- Body pain. The misalignment of the big toe joint can also cause the body to shift out of alignment. This can lead to pain in the legs, hips, and lower back.
- Other foot and ankle issues. The big toe pushing inward can cause friction and irritation. Corns, bursitis, and hammertoe can develop due to an untreated bunion. Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints, which may result in bursting or an infection. Hammertoe, also called metatarsalgia, is an inflammation of the bones in the ball of the foot, which can result from overcompensating when walking and putting great pressure on the metatarsal bones. These foot conditions can contribute to more pain and discomfort and increase infection risk, which will make everything more difficult, from finding comfortable footwear to your day-to-day activities.
- The cartilage protecting the big toe joint can deteriorate rapidly from an untreated bunion and can even cause osteoarthritis.
There is no reason to delay bunion treatment. Podiatrists recommend making an appointment as soon as you notice changes to the big toe. Early signs of a bunion are pain, swelling, and stiffness in and around the big toe, and a noticeable deformity. Do not wait until your bunion has become so advanced that it severely impacts your daily life.
Bunion Treatment in Cincinnati, OH
Our podiatrists at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care routinely treat patients with early-stage or highly advanced bunions. While we are perfectly capable of treating advanced-stage bunions, we recommend seeing us as soon as you start noticing changes in your feet. In most cases, bunions can be treated using conservative methods. Wearing proper shoes and using custom orthotics may be able to effectively correct your bunions.
We are proud to offer 3-D Scanning for custom orthotics, which allows us to create custom orthotics engineered to treat your specific diagnosis, while you lie comfortably on an exam table, keeping your feet in a neutral position.
To learn more about our bunion treatments, schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists. Call our clinic nearest you or use our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to getting you back to normal using proven methods.