Understanding Inflamed Bunion Bursitis: Causes and Symptoms

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If you happen to have a bunion deformity on your foot, one of the accompanying conditions you may face occasionally is inflamed bunion bursitis. It’s important to understand what this issue entails exactly – what causes it, and what kind of symptoms can you expect?

What Is Inflamed Bunion Bursitis?

Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa sac. These sacs are located in various parts of the body – they can be found near joints, as their main function is cushioning bones and tendons during movement. They make movements in the joints go smoothly. Bursa sacs are semi-compressible structures that are filled with fluid. When there’s too much stress on them, or they are irritated, the inflammation develops, and a patient ends up with bursitis. 

How Bursitis Develops in the Bunion Area

A bunion deformity is a bony protrusion at the base of the big toe – the deformity is located in the big toe joint, and as we mentioned above, bursa sacs are located near joints. Since bunions can easily get inflamed or irritated, it’s easy to see how the same thing can happen to the bursa sac near the bunion. 

What Are the Causes of Inflamed Bunion Bursitis?

Bunions develop as a result of changes in the biomechanics of the foot, which often means there’s excessive pressure on the part of the foot where the big toe joint is – excessive pressure and overuse of the joint are among the main causes of bursitis. 

Overuse of the joint can often be a result of repetitive movements, which occur in many activities – examples include running and cycling. Even long periods of standing can be too much for the big toe joint. It’s worth noting that poor-fitting footwear can also help inflammation develop – and when you have a bunion, it’s extra important to pay attention to what kind of shoes you wear. 

How to Identify Symptoms of Inflamed Bunion Bursitis?

Symptoms of bursitis can easily be confused with symptoms of a bunion, but if you notice sudden changes in their severity, there’s a good chance that your bursa sac near the bunion is inflamed. The main symptom is pain. You may also experience swelling, tenderness, stiffness in the big toe joint, redness and warmness of the skin on top of the bunion, and reduced range of motion in the big toe joint. 

How to Soothe and Manage Inflammation?

If you have bursitis, it’s important to rest your foot. Elevation is helpful for reducing swelling (and consequently pain) – be sure to elevate your foot above the level of your heart. Apply ice packs on the painful part of your foot every couple of hours for 10-20 minutes. Remember that ice shouldn’t go directly on the skin – wrap it in clean fabric. If the pain is severe, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication from the NSAIDs group – like ibuprofen, for example. 

When Should You Visit Your Doctor? 

If you have a bunion deformity that has been complicated by the inflammation of the bursa sac, it’s best to reach out to your foot doctor for help. A skilled podiatrist will be able to examine you, evaluate your condition, and advise you on the best course of treatment. Don’t put off seeing your doctor if you’re in pain – it’s better to start treatment sooner than later!

A Foot Doctor in Miami Can Help You Treat Inflamed Bunion Bursitis

If you have bursitis in the area of your bunion, you’re going to need advice from a podiatrist with experience in treating this condition. Our team of doctors at Luxe Foot Surgery clinic is more than capable of handling issues like this – contact us to book your first appointment.

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