Posts for: August, 2014
Characterized by a large, unsightly bump on the side of the big toe joint, bunions signal an underlying deformity in the structure of the foot. Left untreated, bunions may become progressively worse, causing severe discomfort, difficulty walking, redness and swelling.
Treatment options vary with the severity of each bunion. Identifying the deformity early in its development is important in avoiding surgery. Common conservative treatments include rest, ice, padding, orthotics and footwear modifications. Many times a combination of these simple lifestyle changes and non-surgical approaches are enough to relieve the pain and stop the progression of the bunion, although these treatments won’t reverse the actual deformity.
When non-surgical treatments fail to relieve your pain or your bunion is interfering with normal, daily activities, Columbia Podiatry may recommend a bunionectomy, which involves the surgical removal of a bunion to reduce pressure and repair the joint. There are a variety of surgical procedures available to treat bunions. The goal of surgery is to correct the deformity by realigning the toe by removing the bony bump and restoring normal, pain-free function.
When you should consider bunion surgery from your podiatrist:
- Nonsurgical, conservative treatment has failed to relieve your bunion pain
- Walking or performing normal, everyday tasks is difficult and painful
- The simple act of wearing shoes causes pain
- Your big toe joint is constantly swollen
Your age and health may also determine your candidacy for bunion surgery. Your podiatrist will work with you to determine the best treatment for your individual needs. The podiatric professionals at Columbia Podiatry have received advanced training in the surgical removal of bunions, relieving the pain and helping patients return to the activities they enjoy.
An unexpected fall or twist can result in an injury of the foot or ankle, such as a sprain or strain. Immediate first aid can help prevent complications, reduce pain and improve recovery.
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation, commonly referred to as R.I.C.E., is the first and best treatment for minor injuries. The following tips can aid in the early treatment of common foot and ankle injuries to help reduce swelling and control the inflammatory process during the initial phase of injury.
Rest. Whether you have a strain or a sprain, rest from any physical activity is essential to protecting your injured ligaments, tendons or muscles from further damage while your body starts the repair process. Avoid putting weight on the injured foot or ankle as much as possible. In some cases, complete immobilization may be required.
Ice. Gently ice your foot or ankle with ice wrapped in a towel in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle for the first few days post-injury. Ice is excellent at reducing inflammation and pain.
Compression. Applying some type of compressive wrap or bandage to an injured area can greatly reduce the amount of initial swelling.
Elevation. Prop your foot up while lying down or sitting so that it is higher than or equal to the level of the heart.
After a few days of R.I.C.E., many acute injuries will begin to heal. If pain or swelling does not subside after a few days or if you are unsure of the severity of your injury, make an appointment with your Irmo podiatrist at Columbia Podiatry. A skilled podiatrist can properly diagnose your injury and recommend the best course of treatment.