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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for category: Bunions

By Clark Podiatry Center
May 15, 2019
Category: Bunions
Tags: Orthotics   Proper Footwear   arthritis   bunion   callus   corn   podiatrist  

One of the many problems that a person can have is developing a bunion. What is a bunion? A bunion is a painful bone deformity, or bump, at the base of the big toe.

Symptoms of a bunion can include:

  • A large or growing bump on the inside of your big toe’s joint.
  • Pain and swelling
  • A callus or corn on the bump
  • A hardening of the skin on the big toe
  • Difficulty walking on the inflamed foot

There are several causes of a bunion which can include:

  • Poor fitting shoes – shoes that are too narrow. Proper footwear is crucial to healthy feet.
  • Heredity – genetic traits passed down from previous relatives.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – an inflammatory condition in your joints which helps distort the toe.
  • Polio – Rare but possible condition that weakens muscles.

Bunions can be treated surgically and non-surgically.

Non-surgical treatments include:

  • Good fitting footwear – choosing footwear that allow greater space near the toes will allow them to stretch and move in a more natural position.
  • Orthotics – using a type of specific padding. While you can purchase an orthotic at your local drug store, seeing your podiatrist to determine which type of orthotic is your best choice.
  • Ice – applying ice to the swollen area will usually reduce pain and swelling.
  • Medications – using non-steroid, anti-inflammatory medicine can reduce the pain and swelling.

If the above treatments do not help or help enough, surgery may be needed. Surgery is not recommended for children, however, as their feet are still growing. Less invasive treatments will probably be best. During surgery your podiatrist will realign the bones and ligaments to return the foot to a more natural and comfortable position. This should relieve the pain and swelling and reduce the bump. While usually very effective, taking the proper time to recover is very important.  Surgery is usually completed in one day.

 If you believe you have or are developing a bunion or have any other foot concerns, please make an appointment with us. Dr. Brandon A. Macy, who is associated with New Jersey Children's Foot Health Institute, will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments to get you back to being active. Call Clark Podiatry at (732) 382-3470.

 

By Clark Podiatry Center
March 20, 2018
Category: Bunions
Tags: Bunions   Hammertoes   Shoes   arthritis   bony spur   bunion surgery  

You may have noticed a bony growth coming from your big toe joint. You weren’t sure if your bunions were getting larger, but made some changes anyway. You’ve changed your shoes to have a roomier toe box, used bunion pads, and even tried some splints to help keep your big toes facing forward.

Lately, however, your big toe joint seems to become irritated more frequently and more easily. The bony spur has been getting larger, and your foot looks a bit more deformed than you remember. How are you going to feel comfortable with wearing open-toed shoes or sandals now, without embarrassment?

Whatever the cause of your bunion, whether it’s genetics, arthritis, or the types of shoes you wear, the earlier you treat it, the easier the treatment. The longer you leave it untreated, the more likely it is that it will cause further issues on other parts of the feet, like your big toe joint, smaller toes (like with hammertoes), and even the balls of your feet.

In most cases, we encourage non-surgical treatment of bunions, especially because it’s not an easy road to recovery after the invasive surgery. While non-surgical treatment will not be a cure for the bunions, they can be helpful in preventing worsening symptoms and providing pain relief.

When the bunion problem becomes very severe, causing chronic pain and discomfort, the only solution is to turn to bunion surgery. Depending on how your bunion affects you, you can remove the bunion growth, realign the big toe joint, or if it’s due to arthritis, replace the joint with screws and plates. The procedure may be a short outpatient treatment, but the recovery could take 6 weeks to 4 months as the bones heal and adapt.

Bunion surgery is a last resort treatment option. To see if your bunion problem can be solved with surgery, make an appointment to see our board-certified podiatrist, Brandon Macy, DPM at Clark Podiatry Center. He can assess your feet and give you options to make your travel plans possible. Come see him at our Clark, NJ office, which serves the surrounding Union County areas.

 

Patients with bunions either ask me why they have bunions or tell me why they THINK they have bunions.  Here’s the real deal:  bunions are hereditary.  Most likely they come from one or both of your parents, but they may have skipped a generation and come from your grandparents.  Specifically, it’s all about how your skeleton was built and engineered by them.

People whose skeleton isn’t biomechanically stable—mostly, people whose feet flatten out more than they should—have structural instability which causes the bones in the ball of your foot to spread out.  This is why the ball of the feet of people with bunions can be so wide and difficult to fit into shoes.  The joint at the base of the big toe buckles sideways and that’s the bunion!

(On a side note, the smaller toes may buckle upwards for the same reason, these are known as hammertoes which can cause painful joints or corns.)

Here’s the surprising fact:  there’s a lot of information out there that tight or pointed-toe shoes cause bunions.  FALSE!  Shoes make the best (or worst) of a given situation.  Those kinds of shoes can make bunions or hammertoes more painful.  But think about this:  how can a shoe which is too tight allow the ball of the foot to spread out?  Answer: It CAN’T!

Now that you know the real facts, then it’s a matter of how you deal with bunions.  Depending on how much pain you have and what type of pain you have (yes, there are different types of bunion pain) bunions can be treated via surgery and/or orthotics.  Orthotics deal with WHY you have bunions, surgery deals with the painful deformity itself.

The takeaway point from this message is that once we know WHY you have bunions, we’re better able to deal with them the right way and the best way.     

If you or somebody you know has bunions, come on in and we’ll explain thing in more depth.  For more information or an appointment, contact us at 732-382-3470 or visit our website at www.clarkpodiatry.com

At Clark Podiatry Center, we want to keep you walking!

#ClarkPodiatryCenter #NJCFHI

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
September 30, 2014
Category: Bunions
Tags: Bunions   foot surgery   Orthotics  

Many have gone under the assumption that their bunions are caused by tight-fitting shoes, in particular the pointed-toe style of women’s dress shoes. There have been plenty of “reliable sources” reinforce this misconception.   Men get bunions and wear more rounded toe styles; bunion deformities can be seen in children under the age of 10 who have never worn the wrong style of shoes.  There is ample evidence of people with bunions who have never worn a pair of shoes.

Then what exactly does cause bunions to develop? 

A bunion deformity occurs when the 1st metatarsal bone (the bone behind your big toe that makes up part of the ball of your foot) shifts away and/or upwards from the 2nd metatarsal next to it.  This causes a sideways buckling of the joint which results in the big toe bending towards the 2nd toe.  While it can appear that a pointed-toe shoe is pushing the big toe over, the true driving force is the shifting of the metatarsal bone.

       

What causes the metatarsal bone to shift? That is the key here. Each of our bodies is a complex “walking machine” that functions according to how it was built –by our parents.  The basic structure of our skeleton is akin to the structural framework of a building or a machine.   Faulty “engineering” leads to faulty function.  We’ll see it as feet that are unstable—they pronate or the arch flattens out excessively—which results in the instability of the metatarsal bone and eventually the bunion deformity.

Treating bunions involves dealing with both the deformity and the cause.  When symptomatic, bunions are corrected surgically by shifting the metatarsal back towards where it should be. But afterwards, the faulty mechanics—the instability—must be addressed by the use of prescription orthotics.  This deals with WHY the bunion developed in the first place and makes it less likely for the deformity to return after surgery.

The types of shoes worn, weight issues, jobs or activities involving being on the feet for prolonged periods are factors which can aggravate bunions.  They can be the triggers for bunions to become painful, or more painful than they were. Modifying these factors can ease some of the discomfort from bunion deformities to some degree.  But they don’t cause the bunions. 

Tight shoes do not cause bunions.  Bunions cause tight shoes. 

For more information about bunions, orthotics or if you have other questions about foot problems you’d like answered, visit our website at www.clarkpodiatry.com.  You can also call for an appointment at 732-382-3470.  



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Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470