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What is a bunion? Causes and treatment options for painful bunion.

A bunion is a bony bump that grows on the joint of the big toe. It forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe and forces the joint of your big toe to enlarge and stick out, thus causing pain and irritation. Treatment options vary according to the type and severity of the bunion and a surgical procedure is the most invasive method. Below are some helpful bunion treatment tips:

Surgery: This operation is also known as a bunionectomy. A doctor performs the procedure in a hospital or surgery center under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. The surgeon can realign the bone behind your big toe by cutting bone and realigning tendons and soft tissue. The foot & ankle surgeon will take into account x-ray findings, patients age, patient’s activity level and other factors. The length of recovery varies on procedure or procedures performed.

Bunion Pads and Orthotics: You can buy bunion pads at a pharmacy or grocery store. They cushion and protect your bunion. Another option is orthotics which is custom-made to the shape of one’s foot. Custom orthotics realign the imbalance biomechanically in one’s foot to a neutral position. They redistribute your weight while you walk and take pressure off your big toe.

Stretchable Shoes:  The shoes stretch to conform to the contours of your foot, accommodate foot deformities and eliminating pressure on your bunions. Tight fitting shoes not only get ruined by the bunion deformity, but also cause pain and irritation against the bunion deformity.

Physical Therapy: This provides relief from bunion inflammation and pain. One popular technique is ultrasound therapy for treating bunions and their associated soft tissue involvement.

Causes of a Bunion:

  1. Deformity present at birth (Congenital)
  2. Foot injuries
  3. Inherited foot type
  4. Biomechanics

Risks factors (These factors might increase your risk of bunions):

  1. High Heel
  2. ILL-fitting shoes
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis
  4. Heredity

We treat all foot and ankle ailments in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Tempe, Glendale. To make an appointment with your Foot & Ankle Specialists call 480-253-9996 or visit us at

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