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Bunions Specialist

Wake Foot and Ankle Center

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Wake Forest, NC

Bunions are significant bony protrusions of your first big toe joint. Because a bunion actually forces changes within your foot, it’s a deformity that demands immediate care. James Judge, DPM, and Michael Hodos, DPM, the talented podiatrists at Wake Foot and Ankle Center, are bunion care experts who use a variety of personalized solutions to restore your foot alignment and end your pain. Call the Wake Forest, North Carolina, office today or click the online scheduler for help anytime.

Bunions Q & A

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a hard protrusion on the side of your foot, at the point where your big toe attaches. A smaller bump in the corresponding place by the pinky toe is called a bunionette or tailor's bunion. When you have a bunion, your big toe pushes or partly covers the other toes because it's forced out of its normal alignment. 

Before the bony protrusion appears, you may notice a callus — a thick pad of rough skin — over the affected joint. Eventually, the skin in the area turns red and the joint grows into a knobby-looking or V-shaped protrusion. 

When you have a bunion, it's very common to have joint pain and stiffness in your big toe, and possibly in the nearby areas as well. You can also develop corns atop your toes and calluses on the bottom of your feet. Severe bunions disrupt your normal gait, which can lead to pain throughout your feet, ankles, and legs. 

Why do I have a bunion?

Bunions happen when the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint anchoring your big toe grows unstable and starts moving abnormally. A number of things can cause this to happen, including:

  • Wearing narrow shoes
  • Wearing short shoes
  • Wearing high heels (over 3 inches)
  • Flat feet
  • Foot injury

Genetic predisposition is another common variable. Certain foot types tend to develop bunions far more often than others, and you can inherit the problematic foot mechanics vulnerable to bunions from your parents. The same is true of another joint deformity, hammertoe. 

What is the most effective bunion treatment?

Your Wake Forest Foot and Ankle podiatrist assesses your needs and plans treatment based on bunion severity. For small bunions, your podiatrist may recommend changing your shoes, and wearing high heels less often. This simple change might be enough to stop bunion progression. 

If your bunion is growing larger, your podiatrist may prescribe custom orthotics and joint padding to relieve joint strain and pain. Anti-inflammatory medication and icing your bunion at home can also relieve pain and soreness. 

If your bunion is severe and causes deformities in other areas of your foot, you may need surgery. The Wake Forest Foot and Ankle podiatric surgeons are bunion surgery experts who can reposition your joints and surrounding foot structures to restore your foot health.

You don’t have to suffer with bunions forever. Call Wake Forest Foot and Ankle, or click online booking, for expert support now.