Diabetes and Feet – Bunions

Bunions in Diabetes

Foot Care for Bunions in Diabetes

Foot complications are quite common in diabetes.Poor blood flow and nerve problems lead to numerous problems that need diabetic foot care. People with diabetes and bunions need special care in terms of reducing pain and improving prognosis.

What are Bunions?

Bunions are deformities of the big toe. In this condition, the big toe of the foot tends to angle inward towards the second toe. Bunions are painful and are characterized by bony growth and misalignment of the big toe. It causes enlargement of the joint connecting the big toe and the rest of the foot.Bunions are more common in women causing deformity that is progressive, painful, and creating difficulty walking.

Causes of Bunions

Bunions are caused due to various factors including:

  • Genetic factors
  • Congenital deformities
  • Arthritis
  • Trauma
  • Disorders of the nerves and muscles
  • There is increased risk of bunions with high heels, and improper (tight) footwear

The progressive nature of bunions leads to increased deformity with time. Improper management can lead to extreme pain and inflammation, bursitis, and hammertoe. People with bunions experience symptoms like:

  • Bumpy area on the base of big toe
  • Formation of corns and calluses on the bump
  • Redness and swelling of big toe joint
  • Foot pain while standing, walking, and wearing shoes
  • Stiffness of the big toe

Diagnosis is done by physical and x-ray examination. Treatment options include

  • Oral medications and icing for pain relief
  • Change of footwear with orthotics
  • Providing padding to the big toe joint
  • Splints to realign the big toe joint
  • Bunion surgery.

Diabetes and Bunions

People with diabetes who are overweight, and have foot complications are prone to bunions. This is because of impaired blood supply to the feet along with nerve problems of the muscles of the feet. People with uncontrolled diabetes are at an increased risk of bunions. Diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic foot are two major contributors for bunions. Bunions are also found in people with Diabetic Charcot deformity.

Prevention of Bunions

  • Wear proper footwear
  • Avoid pointed footwear
  • Ensure that both big toe and small toe do not press against the shoes
  • Avoid high heels
  • Reach target blood sugar levels
  • Get feet examinations regularly
  • Consult a podiatrist if you witness pain, visible bumps, and decreased movement of the big toe.