Versus – Bunions vs. Arthritic Toe Joints


Yes, Ladies and Gentleman, it is time for this week’s episode of the fast growing and well-loved series “VERSUS”.
Once again this week we will be pitting to formidable opponents against each other. In review, two weeks ago we had toe nail fungus vs. thickened toe nails. Last week we saw calluses square off against warts. These have been epic battles between foot issues that often are mistaken for each other.
But this week we are truly upping the ante. This week’s paring poses a different challenge to patients. This week’s conditions are a notch up the serious scale from those previous contests. This week we will see
Bunions vs. Arthritic Toe Joints
Let’s say you are looking at your foot. And there below your big toe there is a protrusion. I mean a bump there below your big toe on the side of your foot. To be honest, if that happened to me, I would think that I have turned into my mother but I am sure your reaction would be different.
Here is the thing. That bump on your foot might be a bunion but it might not. That’s right. A bunion is what we all think when we see a bump under our big toe but it could be something else. That bump could actually be an arthritic toe joint.
A bunion is caused by a misalignment of the bones in your foot. This can happen as a result of wearing footwear that does not fit correctly or it could be that you inherited a bone structure that lends itself to the formation of a bunion. A bunion can be painful and size is not an indicator of pain. Some people will have a very painful small bunion while others can have a large misalignment that is not painful. Part of the pain with a bunion is from the bunion rubbing against shoes.
Is it a bunion?  
Arthritis in the joint in your big toe can also cause a bump at the base of the big toe. You can develop arthritis in your toe joint for a number of reasons. Like bunions, part of the reason can be the alignment of the bones in your foot. Arthritis can also form at the base of your toe because of an injury to the area. Athletes that suffer from repeated episodes of turf toe can develop arthritis at the base of the big toe. The arthritis in your big toe can lead to Hallux Limitus. Hallux Limitus is not a spell cast by Harry Potter. Hallux (big toe in Latin) Limitus refers to a condition where the range of motion in the big toe is reduced and is painful. As Hallux Limitus progresses, the range of motion will decrease until you move into Hallux Rigidus, a condition where your big toe cannot move. Over time, you will feel pain from your toe all the time – not just when wearing shoes or walking.
How can you tell the difference?  You need to pay a visit to your friendly local podiatrist to really find out which condition has affected your foot. The doctor can have you get an x-ray of your foot and it will be evident on the x-ray. After the x-ray and the diagnosis, you and the doctor can determine the right course of action for you.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of “VERSUS”. We will be back with another edition next week.


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