Bunions – More Common Than You Think!

Even if you don’t have bunions, you may know someone who has them and know that they can
be painful. Strike this line. Knowing a little about bunions can be highly beneficial if you want to
receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. In fact, Dr. Lisa Schoene and Dr. Bruce
Bever helps many patients treat and prevent bunions.

What Causes Bunions?

bunion comparison
Healthy foot and foot with Bunion

First, you need to know what bunions are. Bunions are a deformity of the large toe joints in the feet that ultimately cause the big toe to point inward. If you develop bunions, you will experience more pressure on the first large toe. When present, there may be an increased risk of developing corns and calluses where the toe rubs against the shoe. Bunions can progress from giving you mild to more severe pain, but not all bunions are painful.

If you have poor or improper mechanics, the bones in your feet become unstable or hypermobile. This can lead to the foot to pronate or roll inwards, which is hereditary in nature. When this happens, the big toe joint becomes unstable, and it can move out of alignment.

Often, bunions stem from an imbalance with your foot’s mechanics, such as
having flat feet or a genetic predisposition to the condition. Women tend to be more likely to
experience pain associated with bunions. Generally due to the restrictive shoe gear.

What Are the Symptoms of Bunions?

Most people learn they have bunions because they notice that their first large toe is angulating
and becoming more prominent. This bump on the side of the first toe may be accompanied by
pain and swelling. You might experience numbness or soreness that worsens when the toes are
crowded into a shoe or sock. This pain can also worsen if you have been standing for a long

Sometimes when the bunion is present for many years, the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th toes may start to turn
sideways or overlap, which may result in getting corns or calluses. This results from the big toe
rubbing against the next toe over. Sometimes the first toe doesn’t become painful, but the 2 nd toe
and its metatarsal joint become stiff from inflammation and discomfort.

If left without treatment, bunions will progress as they are due to poor foot mechanics Living
with bunions for a long time can sometimes lead to pressures on other toes, and painful calluses
and problems fitting comfortably in shoes or pain with prolonged walking.

How Can You Get Diagnosed With Bunions?

Bunions progress and get larger over time; your big toe can completely move out of place, and
the bump will get progressively bigger and bigger. Dr. Bever and Dr. Schoene can easily diagnose and treat bunions.

The doctors will examine and discuss with you the severity of the
condition to determine which treatment option is best for you. After the doctor diagnoses the
condition as bunions, they will typically need to perform an x-ray to determine the extent of the

Bunions or “Hallux Valgus” is easy to diagnose by the Podiatrist but sometimes the side of the
toe has an enlarged soft red bump, and that actual condition could be bursitis, an inflammatory
cushion, which often appears on areas of friction in the foot against the shoes, often over the
bump of the bunion, so it may look more pronounced than it actually is; there is also a condition
called Hallux Limitus, which occurs at the same joint, but it is very different in the cause and

How Do Doctors Treat Bunions?

You may start your bunion treatment with a non-surgical option. For instance, your doctor may offer recommendations for footwear or orthotic inserts. Orthotics can help you regain the correct function of your feet and stop bunions from progressing further. You may also benefit from spacers, pads, or splints you can use while working if your job has you on your feet.

Changing shoe gear and sizing up or going wider in the toe box will help dramatically and may
eradicate the pain, not the condition! Avoid wearing tight shoes that push the toes toward each
other or high heels that put too much pressure on the front of the foot.

Massage is also an effective option for many patients. Massage helps relieve pain by working the muscles so that more blood and oxygen flow to the injured area. This reduces inflammation and swelling at the site of the bunion.

Your doctor may prescribe exercises and stretches you can do to build
strength and proper mobility in your feet. For example, toe spacers, worn to stretch the toes and internal muscles, can work well for bunions and also for hammertoes which often accompany bunions.

In some cases, patients benefit from osteotomy surgery. This procedure shifts the bone to its natural position and removes the prominent bump you’ve likely noticed. While this is a common procedure, it does not necessarily address the cause of your bunion. This means that it could come back.

In some cases, if conservative care doesn’t help, patients benefit from bone surgery. There are
many procedures that shift the bone to its natural position and remove the prominent bump
you’ve likely noticed.

Although the surgery can straighten the toe, it does not necessarily address the cause of your bunion. This means that it could come back.

That’s where lapiplasty bunion correction comes in. This treatment addresses the root cause of your bunion and helps fix the joint issue. In some cases, the doctor will recommend inserting a titanium plate that will help prevent the condition from occurring again.

You may need to take several weeks to recover after surgery, but you may avoid seeing a return of the problem.

How Can You Keep Bunions Away?

Bunions can progress, so Make sure that you use the proper shoes and custom orthotics and
perform exercises and stretches regularly, and avoid wearing shoes that cramp your toes together.

You’ll need to find shoes that fit well with a flat heel and proper arch support. For those
times when you aren’t wearing shoes, you may want to invest in socks made of wool or spandex.
You can wear these socks with pads or toe spacers to help keep your feet healthy.

Come in early to treat the underlying condition, but If conservative care doesn’t work, progressing to the point where you require surgery. Dr. Lisa M. Schoene and Dr. Bruce Bever can see you at Gurnee
Podiatry & Sports Medicine Assoc. to evaluate your feet.