The Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Bunions

The Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Bunions

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation. It can affect virtually any joint in your body, including the joints in your feet. It can even cause bunions. 

Fortunately, if RA does cause a bunion, Christopher Vittori, DPM, and Ameet Thakrar, DPM, are here to help. At our Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist offices in Homer Glen and New Lenox, Illinois, we offer dedicated care for bunions, including those caused by rheumatoid arthritis.  

If you’re living with RA, it can be helpful to know what to watch for and what your bunion treatment options entail. Let’s take a look. 

When RA causes bunions

People with RA are significantly more likely to deal with foot problems. About 90% of them report some level of foot pain. 

It’s not surprising, then, that getting diagnosed with RA can mean an increased likelihood of getting a bunion. This occurs because the RA causes your body to mistakenly attack the lining of your big toe joint, contributing to the bunion, which is a painful lump that develops at the base of that joint 

What’s more, many of the symptoms of RA are virtually identical to the symptoms of a bunion. Symptoms of both RA and bunions include swelling and loss of mobility in the affected joint. 

The issue is that while bunions are inconvenient for anyone who gets them, they can become particularly debilitating for individuals with RA. Your bunion might become so severe that it misaligns your toe joints to the point that it causes your big toe to cross over your second toe, making walking challenging and fitting into certain shoes impossible. 

Getting relief from your bunion pain

Knowing that your RA caused your bunion can help you understand what’s going on with your feet, but it doesn’t do anything for the discomfort your bunion causes. 

For that, Dr. Vittori and Dr. Thakrar offer a variety of treatment options. We start with conservative treatments to see if they can bring you relief. Your personalized treatment plan might include:

Many people get relief from their discomfort with the above treatments. But in some cases, you might require bunion surgery to realign your toe. 

Dr. Thakrar and Dr. Vittori are here to help you find what works for your specific situation. To get bunion relief, whether your bunion was caused by RA or something else, call Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist or schedule an appointment online today. 

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