Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from bunions? Medically known as hallux valgus, this problem starts out as a “bump” on the side of the foot near the big toe joint. Over time, bunions can turn red, become achy and painful, limit motion at the joint, and make wearing certain shoes difficult.
“Bunions are usually hereditary, progressive, and rarely go away on their own, but there are preventative steps one can take to help push pause on the problem,” says Dr. Sabina Malhotra, sports podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Arthritis & Sports Orthopaedics in Northern Virginia. “The first step is to see a specialist who can evaluate the severity of the deformity and develop a treatment plan.” Non-surgical treatments may reduce the chance of damage to the joint and ease the pain of bunions; however, these treatments will not reverse the deformity itself.
“If the pain begins interfering with your normal daily activities, and conservative options have proven inadequate, a surgical discussion will typically be the next step,” says Dr. Malhotra. In recent years, several advancements in the field of bunion surgery are now helping patients return to normal activities sooner. Dr. Malhotra implements several pain management techniques following bunion surgery, including using nerve blocks, specific vitamin regimens, and more naturopathic supplements in conjunction with traditional anti-inflammatory medications.
Dr. Malhotra, a lifelong athlete herself, understands what it means to be sidelined by injuries and pain. “My goal is to help improve my patients’ lives and keep them active. Foot pain is never fun, but we are lucky to live in a time where newer and more innovative treatment options exist.”
To schedule an evaluation, request an appointment online or call 703-444-5000.
Sabina Malhotra, DPM, AACFAS is a board-certified foot and ankle specialist and Associate Member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. She sees patients in both Sterling and South Riding, VA.