Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: Bunions

By Dr. Rion Berg
November 30, 2018
Category: Bunions
Tags: tailor's bunion   bunionette  

You've noticed a bump has formed on the outside of your little toe and you have no idea why it's there. Very likely you have a tailor's bunion.

Causes

Like its cousin the "bunion", a tailor's bunion arises due to faulty foot structure. In this case this structure causes a misalignment of the small bones in the toe. The toe joint sticks out away from your foot while your little toe turns inward towards your other small toes. Fortunately this type of bunion is much less common than a regular bunion. A tailor's bunion is also called a bunionette because it's much smaller than the bunion that forms off the side of the big toe.

The tailor's bunion got its name from tailors who would sit cross-legged all day with the outside of edge of their feet rubbing on the ground. This led to a painful bump at the base of the little toe.

Like a regular bunion, a tailor's bunion can get worse over time and is often aggravated by wearing tight, pointy shoes with high heels.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a tailor's bunion include redness, swelling, numbness, and pain. Symptoms arise when the bunion rubs against your shoes causing inflammation and enlargement. These bunions can occur on both feet. Activities may be a limited as a result of the pain.

Treatment

Dr. Berg will first use non-surgical treatments to bring pain relief and to prevent the tailor's bunion from getting worse. These treatments can include use of orthotics to correct the faulty foot mechanics and padding to prevent the bunion from rubbing against your shoes. Icing, steroid injections, and anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the swelling, inflammation, and pain.

In addition, it's crucial that you find shoes that have a wider toe box to prevent the bunion from rubbing. It's also important to avoid high heeled and pointy shoes. Some shoes recommended by Jason Brown of Sole Perfection in Shoreline, WA are the Alegria Paloma and also the Taos Ta Dah Mary Jane both available at his store or online when you click the links above.

Surgery made be necessary if more conservative treatments don't work. Most often this will be the case if the tailor's bunion has progressed. Fortunately, most often this surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure. Some surgeries will only require removal of the painful soft tissue of the fifth toe. Others may involve cutting into the bone to straighten it.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
November 06, 2018
Category: Bunions
Tags: Meghan Markle  

Meghan Markle is really getting around these days. Last week she was at a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony in Rotorua, New Zealand. It was there we found out that Meghan had undergone bunion surgery when the telltale signs of scars on the inside of her big toe were revealed when she went barefoot.

While I can't say for certain that Meghan has flat feet, it's a strong possibility. Unfortunately bunions are often in the future for people with flat feet, particularly women. In addition to having this foot type women who also wear high heels are at the highest risk for accelerated bunion development.

People with flat feet are very likely to pronate or roll their feet inwards as they walk. Over time this motion causes the big toe to migrate towards the other toes and as it migrates a bunion develops next to the inside of the big toe.

The key to preventing bunions from forming is to stop the pronation from occurring. And the earlier the better. It's very possible if Meghan had received the proper treatment for her bunions early enough she could have avoided surgery. In addition, if Meghan had avoided high heels she could also have slowed down the progression of her bunions.

Treatments for Bunions

Surgery is usually the last thing I talk about with my patients who have bunions. Instead I start with less invasive, more conservative treatments such as padding, orthotic devices, and education about the best type of shoes to prevent the progression of bunions.

When Should Treatment Start?

Treatment for bunions should start as soon as a parent suspects their child has pediatric or developmental flatfoot. That's because at this stage, treatment is preventive. Intervening in the way a child walks once this condition is identified will not only help prevent future bunions from developing but also plantar fasciitis and other pain conditions related to having flat feet. Hip and back problems can also be averted by preventive therapy.

All children are born with flat feet. An arch doesn't usually develop until a child is four or five years old. If your child still has flat feet beyond age six they will have them and the problems that come with them for the rest of their life.

Others signs that your child may have future foot problems such as bunions are pain, frequent trips and falls, withdrawal from activities they usually enjoy, and having trouble keeping up with their peers.

At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we also treat children at risk for bunions using very conservative measures. For very young children we use specially designed orthotics for kids called Little Steps. For older kids we'll use a custom orthotic just like we do for adults.

What Else Can I Do To Prevent Progression of My Bunions?

If you already have bunions but they aren't advanced, there is a lot you can do to prevent them from progressing. In addition to orthotics, changing your shoe type will go a long way in slowing their acceleration. There are multiple brands of shoes that can help greatly in accommodating your bunions so that you won't have much pain.

However, it's extremely important to keep certain shoe features in mind when you go shopping if your ultimate goal is to prevent your bunions from worsening. Look for a shoe with a heel no higher than one inch, a toe box wide enough to accommodate your feet so that there is no pressure on your forefoot or toes, and a shoe that is not too tight.

Although orthotics can be made to fit any shoe, to keep down your costs you should shop for a shoe that will take the orthotics you already have. One shoe I recommend to my patients is the Alegria Kourtney. It easily accommodates an orthotic and has plenty of room in the toes.

If you've already been treated for bunions and they've progressed to the point where you think surgery is in your future, check out the information on our bunion surgery page.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
June 01, 2018
Category: Bunions

Summertime is walking and hiking time. But for people with bunions the thought of stepping out to do anything active can be fraught with worry. If you're one of those people you already know how painful it can be to do any activity that means putting pressure on your bunions.

How can you keep your bunions from ruining your summer?

Wear Sturdy, Supportive Sandals

While they won't solve your bunion problems, wearing a sturdy, supportive sandal with adjustable straps can help make your summer more enjoyable.

Why sturdy and supportive? If you're like many people with bunions, you probably have a flatter arch or no arch. Supporting the arch is important to prevent your bunions from getting worse. A sturdy sandal is one that can't easily be bent in half or twist. Sandals like these can be used to walk and sometimes hike longer distances while preventing ankle sprains and foot pain.

Sandals that fit this description are the Ecco Yucatan sandal, Atika Maya, or Chaco Z2 Classic. There are many other sandals that can work just as well. Learn to test any sandal before you buy it, by watching my video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

Wear Sandals That Can Take An Orthotic

Many of my patients get pain relief once their foot mechanics are corrected with a custom orthotic. While orthotics fit into most tennis shoes not that many can fit into sandals. Here are some sturdy, supportive sandals with removable foot beds.

Avoid High Heels

Wearing high heels no matter how sturdy will cause more bunion pain and cause your bunions to get worse. If you can't avoid a high heel, wear one with a roomier toe box.

If you're experiencing bunion pain and want to enjoy your summer call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

By Dr Rion Berg
March 28, 2018
Category: Bunions
Tags: bunions  

Like most people, you probably know what a bunion looks like. Maybe you have a bunion and you've been dealing with it for a long time. Perhaps as you've gotten older your bunion has progressed and it's become painful to wear closed-toed shoes.

You may have wondered, why you have bunions. Is it just bad luck or is something else going on.

Are Bunions Genetic?

Bunions are not genetic but the underlying foot mechanics that cause bunions are inherited. Each of us is born with a particular foot type. Although babies are all born with flat feet most will outgrow this flat foot pattern at around age four. Those who do not outgrow them will have flat feet for the rest of their lives.

People with flat feet are at much greater risk for developing bunions.

Why?

Men and women with flat feet you are much more likely to pronate or roll their feet inward when they walk. This walking pattern is what causes bunions to form over time.

What Is Going On With My Bones?

The first thing you notice if you have a bunion is the characteristic bump at the base of your big toe. You might wonder if you're growing extra bone, but you are not. In a foot without a bunion, the toe is relatively straight ahead. 

With a bunion you can see on X-ray that the big toe is moving towards the second toe. In addition, you'll notice the first metatarsal separates from the second metatarsal. Without any bone formation, a bump begins to form on the side of the joint.

In addition, the first segment of the great toe and the metatarsal behind it often become hypermobile. As this happens greater and greater separation occurs between the first and second metatarsal causing the toe to drift over.

Let's compare this to your hand. Unlike the great toe, mobility is necessary or you wouldn't be able to touch your thumb to your little finger. If you make a fist with your right hand you'll notice a bump where your thumb knuckle protrudes out. Unless you plan to write with your feet, you don't need that hypermobility.

The hypermobility comes from the tendency of the foot to pronate as mentioned earlier. It's this hypermobility that causes the great toe to drift over toward the smaller toes.

What Causes the Pain?

The pain is not a result having a hypermobile big toe with a bump. It results from your bunion rubbing against your shoes every time you walk. If you lived in a place where the weather is always warm bunions would not be much of an issue since you could accommodate them with a pair of sandals. In a place like Seattle this is a much bigger problem as we need shoes almost all year long. Most shoes are not designed to accommodate bunions.

How Is It Treated?

The earlier you get the underlying cause of the bunion treated, the better chance you have of preventing bunions from forming. For example, children who have not outgrown their flat feet from babyhood can receive treatment to prevent bunions. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we treat young children with pediatric flatfoot with a special pre-fabricated orthotic designed just for kids called Little Steps. To learn how to identify children foot problems early review Kid's Feet First.

For adolescents whose feet are still growing I'll recommend a splint for nighttime wear to keep the toes aligned properly. For adults as well as adolescents custom orthotics are recommended. Orthotics keep the foot properly aligned when walking to prevent pronation and the first toe from becoming more hypermobile.

Wearing shoes that can properly accommodate your bunion can help prevent bunion pain. A local shoe store I recommend is Sole Perfection. In addition, Kirsten Borrink's website, www.barkingdogshoes.com is a great resource. She is always finding new shoes that work for a variety of foot problems including bunions.

What About Surgery?

After all conservative treatment approaches are tried; surgery may be the most reasonable option. Most people who have surgery have had bunions for many years, but young people can also have an advanced case and prefer a surgical solution. Either way it's important to ask yourself the following questions before talking to a Seattle podiatrist like me about surgery.

Are my bunions more painful?
As bunions progress they often become more painful. If this is a problem for you and you've tried other solutions.

Has it become extremely difficult to wear shoes?
At some point the difficulty of finding any shoes to wear (even bunion-friendly shoes) may have become problematic.

Has my bunion discomfort forced me to limit the activities I wish to pursue?
For many people, giving up athletics or fitness activities is not acceptable. If this is true for you then surgery may be the best option

If you or a loved one are suffering from bunions, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 

 

 

It seems like no matter what life throws her way, Victoria Beckham keeps on going. Instead of problems with her bunions, this time she sustained a stress fracture during a winter ski vacation in Whistler, Canada.

Not longer after, she had a shoe design meeting and took a selfie standing with one foot in a stiletto and her other foot poised precariously in the air with a walking boot. Victoria never seems to avoid risk, especially when it comes to looking her best.

Victoria has suffered for years with bunions most likely made worse by wearing sky high stilettos. To this day I don't know whether she's had surgery for her bunions, but I hope she has for her sake. I don't know whether her pose for a shoe designer was just a one off or whether she truly has given up heels for flats as she proclaimed in 2016.

If you're like Victoria and take risks with your feet and ankles, stress fractures and other foot problems are bound to come your way. If you have flat feet and your wear heels, certainly bunions are much more likely to be a reality in your life.

To decrease your risk for stress fractures here are 5 easy ways to prevent them. If you have bunions, wearing shoes that are one inch or lower in height and have plenty of room in the toe box can help prevent them from getting worse.

No matter what your foot problem, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+