What Causes Extreme Swelling Around the Bunion of Your Feet?

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The bunion is a bony protrusion on the inside of your foot, on the base of the big toe. One of the main symptoms that come with this deformity is swelling – but why? What causes extreme swelling around the bunion of your feet? There are several factors that play an important role in this – let’s see what they are. 

The Most Common Factors That Cause Bunion Swelling 

Changes in the biomechanics of the foot and constant inflammation can lead to numerous symptoms, one of them being swelling. When we talk about inflammation, it’s important to note that there are several different structures that can be inflamed as a result of bunion deformity formation. 

Inflammation of the Bursa Sac

Inflammation of the bursa sac is called bursitis. A bursa sac is a small sac filled with fluids that is located near the joint. It acts as a cushion and helps reduce friction between the adjacent tissues. The inflammation may reduce the mobility of the joint – in this case, we’re talking about a big toe joint. 

Joint Capsule Irritation

Irritation and inflammation of the capsule of a joint is called capsulitis or synovitis. The capsule supports the joint and keeps it in place. The inner layer of a capsule is called the synovial membrane, and it produces synovial fluid. When there’s inflammation, fluid production is increased, which results in swelling of the joint. 

Soft Tissue Inflammation and Edema

Of course, just like any other tissue, soft tissue around the big toe joint can also be inflamed if you have a bunion deformity. In inflammation, blood vessels become more permeable, so the fluids accumulate in the inflamed tissues, which results in edema – and that’s why your joint looks swollen. 

What Other Factors Can Contribute to Bunion Swelling?

Keep in mind that there are many mechanical factors that can cause swelling. This is why it’s important to understand what triggers the symptoms of a bunion – here are the most important issues to look out for. 

Prolonged Pressure and Friction on the Bunion

Although pressure and friction aren’t the causes of a bunion (the actual cause is a change in the biomechanics of the foot), they do have a significant effect on the severity of the symptoms – including swelling. You should be aware of everything that puts excessive pressure on the foot, like overuse and high-impact activities. Too much physical activity may contribute to swelling and pain in the area of the bunion. 

Inadequate Footwear Choices and Tight Shoes

Another factor that doesn’t cause a bunion but impacts the symptoms and quality of life is your choice of footwear. The most important thing to know is that high heels must be avoided – they put too much pressure on the bunion, thus making swelling worse. The same goes for tight shoes – more specifically, shoes with narrow toe boxes. The pressure of the shoe will make your symptoms more severe. 

When Should You Visit a Doctor?

If you notice swelling around your bunion, consider reaching out to your foot doctor. Many patients put off visiting their doctor because they think their symptoms aren’t a huge issue now, but know that the sooner you start treating your bunions, the better. So, whenever you notice that your foot is deformed and that you have a bump on the base of the big toe – get in touch with your doctor, and they’ll come up with a treatment plan for managing the symptoms.

The Doctor in Miami Can Help You With Your Bunion Problem

Finding a great doctor can take a bit of time, but if you are in the Miami area, Luxe Foot Surgery clinic is here to help with your bunions. Contact us to book your first appointment, and let’s get you the treatment you deserve. 



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