Our team of specialists and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you. Or, for a more comprehensive search of our entire Web site, enter your term(s) in the search bar provided.

As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.


 


 

What is a Podiatrist?

When To Call a Doctor

Foot Anatomy

Foot Problems

General Statistics

Achilles Problems

Achilles Tendonitis |Peroneal Tendon Dislocation/Dysfunction | Xanthomas of the Achilles Tendon

Ankle Problems

Ankle SprainChronic Lateral Ankle Pain | Osteochondritis

Arch and Ball Problems

CapsulitisFlat Feet Metatarsalgia (foot pain in ball)Plantar Fibromas (lumps in the arch of the foot) | Sesamoiditis

Common Foot Injuries

Ankle Sprain Injuries | Broken Ankle | Fractures | Osteochondritis (stiff ankle)Osteochondromas |Shin Splints | Sports Injuries

Deformities

Amniotic Band Syndrome | Bunions | Claw ToeClubfootDysplasia (Epiphysealis Hemimelica) | Enchondroma | Flat FeetGordon Syndrome | Haglund's Deformity | Hallux Limitus (Stiff Big Toe Joint)Hallux Rigidus (Stiff Big Toe) | Hallux VarusHammertoesJackson-Weiss SyndromeMallet ToesMetatarsalgia |Osteomyelitis (Bone Infections)Overlapping or Underlapping ToesPeroneal Tendon Dislocation/DysfunctionPosterior Tibial Tendon DysfunctionSesamoiditisSpurs | Tarsal Coalition

Diabetes and Your Feet

Diseases of the Foot

Arthritis | Cancer | Charcot Foot | Freiberg's Disease | Gout | Kaposi's Sarcoma | Kohler's Disease | Maffucci's SyndromeOllier's DiseaseRaynaud's Disease | Seiver's Disease

Fungus Problems

Common Fungal Problems | Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis) | Fungal Nails

Heel Problems

Haglund's Deformity | Heel Callus | Heel Fissures | Plantar Fasciitis (heel spur)

Nail Problems

Black Toenails | Ingrown Toenails| Nail Fungus

Skin Problems

Allergies | Athlete's Foot (tinea pedis) | Blisters| Burning Feet | Calluses | Corns | Cysts | Frostbite | Fungus | Gangrene | Lesions | Psoriasis | Smelly Feet and Foot Odor | Swelling | Ulcers | Warts

Toe Problems

Bunions | Claw Toe | Digital Deformity | Hallux Limitus (stiff big toe joint)Hallux Rigidis (rigid big toe)Hallux Varus | Hammertoes | Intoeing | Overlapping, Underlapping Toes | Subungal Exotosis (bone spur under toenail) | Turf Toe

Vascular/Nerve Problems

Acrocyanosis | Alcoholic Neuropathy | Chilblains (cold feet) | Erythromelalgia | Ischemic Foot | Neuroma | Spasms | Venous Stasis

 

 

Overview of Foot and Ankle Problems

Basic Foot Care Guidelines

Medical Care

Diagnostic Procedures

Computed Tomography | MRI | Ultrasound | X-Rays

Orthotics

Pain Management

General Information and Tips | Pain Management for Specific Conditions

Surgical Procedures

General Information | Achilles Surgery | Ankle Surgery | Arthritis Surgery | Arthroscopy | Bunion Surgery | Cyst Removal | Flatfoot Correction | Hammertoe Surgery | Heel Surgery | Metatarsal Surgery | Nerve Surgery (Neuroma) | Toe Surgery

Therapies

Athlete's Foot Treatment | Cryotherapy | Extracorporeal Shock Wave | Iontophoresis | Physical Therapy | Neurolysis

Fitness and Your Feet

General Information About FitnessAerobics and Your Feet | Exercise Those Toes! | Aerobics | Fitness And Your Feet | Stretching | Walking and Your Feet | Feet | Work Footwear

Sports and Your Feet

Baseball | Basketball | Cycling | Golf | Jogging and Running | Tennis

Foot Care

Basic Foot Care Guidelines | Athletic Foot Care | Blisters | Children's FeetCorns and Calluses |Diabetic Foot CareExercise Those Toes! | Foot Care For Seniors | Foot Self-Exam | Pedicures | Your Feet at Work | Bunion Prevention | Burning Feet | Ingrown Nails | Nutrition For Your Feet

Women's Feet

High Heels | Stockings? | Pregnancy | Women Over 65

Foot Odor and Smelly Feet

Prevention | Treating Foot Odor

Shoes

Anatomy of a ShoeAthletic Shoe GuidelinesChildren's Shoes | Corrective and Prescription Shoes | What to Look FoWhat To Look For| Getting a Proper Fit | Men's Shoes | Women's Shoes | Your Footprint | Wear Patterns

Links

 

 

 


A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). Bunions form when the toe moves out of place. The enlargement and its protuberance cause friction and pressure as they rub against footwear. Over time, the movement of the big toe angles in toward the other toes, sometimes overlapping a third toe (known as Hallux Varus). The growing enlargement or protuberance then causes more irritation or inflammation. In some cases, the big toe moves toward the second toe and rotates or twists, which is known as Hallus Abducto Valgus. Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe.

Many people with bunions suffer from discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction of the enlargement against shoes. The skin over the toe becomes red and tender. Because this joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Over time, bursitis or arthritis may set in, the skin on the bottom of the foot may become thicker, and everyday walking may become difficult—all contributing to chronic pain.

Wearing shoes that are too tight is the leading cause of bunions. Bunions are not hereditary, but they do tend to run in families, usually because of a faulty foot structure. Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, flat feet, and pronated feet can contribute to their formation. It is estimated that bunions occur in 33 percent of the population in Western countries.

Treatment for Bunions

Because they are bone deformities, bunions do not resolve by themselves. The goal for bunion treatment is twofold: first, to relieve the pressure and pain caused by irritations, and second to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement. Commonly used methods for reducing pressure and pain caused by bunions include:

  • Protective padding, often made from felt material, to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
  • Changing to carefully fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.
  • Orthotic devices—both over-the-counter and custom made—to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
  • Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly. This is often recommended for adolescents with bunions, because their bone development may still be adaptable.

Surgical Treatment

Depending on the size of the enlargement, misalignment of the toe, and pain experienced, conservative treatments may not be adequate to prevent progressive damage from bunions. In these cases, bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, may be advised to remove the bunion and realign the toe.