A Foot to Stand On

Has The Time Come To See A Doctor About Your Bunions?

Developing bunions usually goes something like this. One day, you notice that you're starting to get a bump on the outside of your foot, where your big toe meets your forefoot. You shrug it off; it does not really bother you. A few months or even years later, though, you start noticing the bump gets a little sore when you're on your feet, but it's still not a big deal. It's just a bunion; lots of people you know have them.

Sometimes, things go on like this for many years. However, most people do eventually need treatment for their bunions. How do you know when that time has come? Here are the signs you need to see a doctor.

You have pain more often than not.

With mild bunions, you might have pain a few nights a week, or you might have pain when you've been on your feet all day. When this pain becomes persistent and you're in pain more often than you're not, then it's time to seek treatment. You deserve to be comfortable when standing, and there are treatments your podiatrist can administer to ensure your comfort. They can give you cortisone injections, pain relievers, and fit you for orthotics. This probably won't take away your pain completely, but it should make the pain far more manageable.

You're developing open sores on the bunion.

When the bunion becomes severe enough that you're not able to find shoes that fit comfortably, it may start to rub on the shoe and lead to open wounds. You never want open wounds on your feet. They can easily become infected, and an infection in the foot can spread to the rest of your body. A podiatrist can treat the sores so that they can heal, hopefully without infection, and if you do have an infection, they can administer antibiotics to treat it.

You can't move your toe.

If you cannot bend your big toe much or at all, then it's time to see your doctor. An inability to bend your big toe will change the way you walk. You may walk more on the outside of your foot to compensate. This can put excess strain on the other structures in your foot, leading to additional injuries and enhanced soreness. In the short term, a podiatrist can fit you with an orthotic insert that adjusts the way you walk and stand on your foot. In the long-term, you may need bunion surgery to correct the problem and prevent additional damage to your foot.

Has the time come to see a foot doctor about your bunions? Persistent pain, sores, and loss of movement mean that it is.