Far too often, bunions are thought of as a condition that only affects women, especially those who frequently wear pointy, high-heeled shoes. The fact remains, though, that men and children can also develop bunions. When it comes to children, the good news is that conservative juvenile bunion care usually provides relief from painful symptoms.
It's easy to understand where the common misconception of “bunions only happen to women” comes from. High-heeled shoes, like fashionable stilettos and pumps, create a situation where excess pressure is placed on toes that are squashed together in the front of the shoe. These factors can certainly contribute to a condition that develops as a result of imbalance in the big toe’s first joint.
When children develop juvenile bunions, however, it is not the result of stylish footwear, but rather an inherited foot structure linked to either overpronation or joint hypermobility. In rarer cases, neuromuscular disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, or low muscle tone is to blame. Regardless as to the cause, it is important that an affected child receives the care he or she needs. With this in mind, let’s take a look at nonsurgical treatment for juvenile bunions.
Caring for juvenile bunions conservatively is centered on alleviating painful symptoms. Possible treatment options to achieve this include:
- Medication – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help provide relief for painful symptoms, while also reducing swelling in the area. Be sure to consult with our office before providing NSAIDs (or other medication) to your child.
- Rest – Your son or daughter will likely need more rest and possible activity modifications to keep the bunion from causing pain and irritation.
- Ice – An icing regimen will serve to both decrease pain and reduce inflammation in the bunion.
- Custom orthotic devices – We can prescribe custom orthotics that will redistribute pressure and create a more comfortable situation for your son or daughter.
Most of the time these conservative measures will relieve your child’s symptoms. However, the only way that a severe and painful bunion can be completely corrected will be with the use of a surgical procedure.
If your child has developed one of these common toe deformities, bring him or her in and we will provide the bunion care your child needs. McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group is committed to providing effective, gentle child foot care for a wide array of possible conditions, so schedule an appointment with our Carmichael, CA office online or give us call at (916) 961-3434 for more information.