“Hi, I’m Dr. Mitchell Wachtel and today we’re going to talk about a common question we hear: “What is that bump on the side of my foot!?”Many people come into our practice, obviously with foot and ankle problems, a very common problem is pain either on the side or on top of the big toe joint. One of the more common problems is gout which is a metabolic problem. Meaning our body has a problem getting rid of uric acid. There are certain foods we eat that cause a build-up of what we call uric acid in your body.

If you have pain on the side of your foot, in what we call the bunion area. The first thing we’ll want to do is get an x-ray. The x-ray will give us a lot of information like seeing a fracture, or we’ll see a build up of excess bone which creates a limitation of motion. We may also see holes literally in the bone caused from long-term gout. After the x-rays are taken a decision is made if we must do blood work. If there’s a degenerative problem where you have a bit of bone build up we may consider a surgical procedure or even a conservative procedure like changing your footwear at our shoe-store, cortisone injections. Surgery is always our last option.

For gout there are both long-term and short-term medications that can bring the swelling down. Sometimes we’ll inject the patient and give them a medication to take at home. Lastly, if the pain is not associated with gout, we’ll most likely apply an application to relieve pressure off the big toe joint. There are a slew of reasons for big to pain and if you have them, don’t wait. I would recommend you call a podiatrist. We have offices in North Andover, Lowell, and Haverhill. Call us at 978-794-8406. We’re here to help.