As much as 60% of older American adults have a foot disorder, and bunions are one of the most common foot deformities of all. At Gelbmann Podiatry in the Near Southside and West Town areas of Chicago, Illinois, foot and ankle care specialists David Gelbmann, DPM, and Ramsha Tanwir, DPM, have years of experience in diagnosing and treating bunions so you can live comfortably without pain. If you have a bunion, use the online scheduler or call the office to arrange your appointment today.
A bunion, also called hallux valgus, is a bony growth on the side of your foot. Most bunions form at the base of your big toe, but smaller bunions called bunionettes or tailor's bunions can develop at the base of your little toe as well.
Bunions usually develop gradually, and they can grow progressively worse unless you get treatment. Left untreated, it can lead to severe pain and hinder your walking abilities.
In addition to pain at the base of your big toe, a bunion typically causes:
Bunions can also trigger other foot problems. As your big toe joint moves outward, it forces your big toe inwards and this can cause problems like corns, calluses, and hammertoe.
If your bunions aren't treated, you could eventually be unable to wear most shoes. You could even experience difficulty walking due to the joint imbalance.
Bunions are usually tied to genetics. If you inherit poor foot mechanics from your parents, you're more likely to develop bunions and are also more vulnerable to other bone and joint deformities like hammertoe.
Foot trauma and neuromuscular disorders can also cause bunions. Men and women who suffer from flat feet or low foot arches have an increased risk for bunions. Because anything that puts prolonged significant stress on your feet could also cause bunions, ballet dancers often develop them.
While wearing high heels or other constricting shoes doesn't cause bunions, it can accelerate their development.
After performing a foot exam and taking X-rays to confirm your bunions, the team at Gelbmann Podiatry develops a personalized treatment plan for you. Your provider begins with conservative methods designed to relieve pressure and restore function.
They may recommend nonsurgical interventions like shoes with a wide instep, a bunion shield, night splints, and custom orthotics to make you more comfortable and slow bunion growth.
If your bunion is severe, the team may recommend surgery. Your provider at Gelbmann Podiatry expertly performs bunion surgery to realign your toe joints and relieve symptoms.
Bunion surgery is usually an outpatient procedure. Most patients walk on their operative foot in only a few days and get back to work very quickly.
To get help for bunions, call the team at Gelbmann Podiatry or book your appointment online today.