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What are the Early Signs of Bunions?

If you notice the early signs of bunions, you can seek immediate treatment. Before small bunions get larger, you can often treat them without surgery. So you want to catch these bumps ASAP. How can you do that? Read on to find out more. But first…

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bony bump that forms beneath your big toe. At first, the bump will be small, or barely even noticeable. But, without treatment, the bunion will progress. And that’s why we want you to come into our Spring or Tomball TX podiatry offices when you notice the early signs of bunions.

Early Signs of Bunions: Why Do They Form? removing bunions

You may develop a bunion for several different reasons. But the main risks include your family history; the way your muscles, tendons and joints move together; or even the shoes you wear.

For example, if you pronate (that means your feet roll in when you walk), that pits lots of extra pressure on your big toe. Over time, that force can cause your bones to shift, and leave you with a bunion.

Now, while shoes are rarely the only cause of bunions, wearing tight pointy shoes can speed up bunion formation or progression. Still, in most cases, your genes increase your risk for bunions. Because the shape of your foot, or the way your body moves, are the most likely reason a bunion will form.

Bunion Stages

Because bunions progress, we classify them in three different stages.

Primary stage bunion.

This is a mild deformity. All you’ll notice here is a little bump beneath your big toe joint. But don’t be fooled–that small bump will get larger without treatment. Then, it could become a…

Secondary stage bunion.

Now, you will notice moderate symptoms. At this stage your big toe may shift position. Soon, you’ll probably experience pain.

Tertiary stage bunion.

This is a severe stage of bunion progression. By now, your big toe has shifted dramatically. In fact, it may even cross over or under your second tow. At this point, the skin around your bunion could be red, tender and swollen. Finding shoes that fit you will be challenging, and your pain could be significant. Bunions treated at this stage usually require surgery.

Treating Bunions in Spring TX

Your treatment options will be very different if you catch the early signs of bunions instead of waiting until the bump is large and disruptive. Ideally, we’ll see you when you have a primary stage bunion. We can detect the exact stage with an in-office X-ray, where we have you bear weight on the foot. With those images, we can see how much movement there’s been in your toe. We can also see the full size of your bony bump.

Next, if you have a mild or moderate bunion, we’ll try to reduce your pain and keep you mobile. At this point, we can try treatments like padding and custom orthotics. If you’re only showing  early signs of bunions, these options may be sufficient to relieve your pain.

Unfortunately, if you have a sever bunion, non-invasive treatments are unlikely to work. At this point, we’ll probably suggest bunion surgery. And, whatever treatment we choose, we’ll prevent bunion progression or recurrence with shoe changes and continued custom orthotic use.

Remember, we can offer faster relief with less-invasive treatments when we see you with the early signs of bunions. So, if you think a bump is forming beneath your big toe, don’t wait and watch it grow. Instead, come into the office right away for a bunion consultation.