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~ Dr. Phil Pinsker

 

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853 Jefferson Ave-suite 2
Washington, PA, 15301

Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave-suite 2
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
(724) 225-9469 - fax

We believe that having the right information will equip you in making the best decisions regarding your foot and ankle health. If you have an injury, your quality of life can depend on the type of care you get and how fast you get it. The more informed you are, the quicker you will recover. Dr. Pinkser is extremely dedicated to providing the most up-to-date and accurate information so you can learn more about your injury or condition, the activities that lead to them and treatment information.

Our podiatric office treats all aspects of foot and ankle injuries and conditions. Common foot and ankle injuries include:

Some of the common deformities and conditions treated at our office include:

For your use, we have provided an extensive patient library covering an array of topics on foot and ankle health. If you have a specific concern or topic of interest, please use the search box below on the left or browse through our resource library.

While you can find valuable and helpful information on our site, it should not be used as a replacement for a proper consultation and examination by Dr. Pinsker. If you have sustained an injury, are experiencing any pain or are concerned about a foot or ankle problem, please contact our office and schedule an appointment today

A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions form when the toe moves out of place. The enlargement and its protuberance cause friction and pressure as they rub against footwear. Over time, the movement of the big toe angles in toward the other toes, sometimes overlapping a third toe (known as Hallux Valgus). The growing enlargement or protuberance then causes more irritation or inflammation. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, which is known as Hallus Abducto Valgus. Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe.

Many people with bunions suffer from discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction of the enlargement against shoes. The skin over the toe becomes red and tender. Because this joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Over time, bursitis or arthritis may set in, the skin on the bottom of the foot may become thicker, and everyday walking may become difficult—all contributing to chronic pain.

Wearing shoes that are too tight is the leading cause of bunions. Bunions are not hereditary, but they do tend to run in families, usually because of a faulty foot structure. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, flat feet, and pronated feet can contribute to their formation. It is estimated that bunions occur in 33 percent of the population in Western countries.

Treatment for Bunions

Because they are bone deformities, bunions do not resolve by themselves. The goal for bunion treatment is twofold: first, to relieve the pressure and pain caused by irritations, and second to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement. Commonly used methods for reducing pressure and pain caused by bunions include:

  • Protective padding, often made from felt material, to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
  • Changing to carefully fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.
  • Orthotic devices—both over-the-counter and custom made—to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
  • Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly. This is often recommended for adolescents with bunions, because their bone development may still be adaptable.

Surgical Treatment

Depending on the size of the enlargement, misalignment of the toe, and pain experienced, conservative treatments may not be adequate to prevent progressive damage from bunions. In these cases, bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, may be advised to remove the bunion and realign the toe.