Walking with bunions can be painful and may even change your entire gait. At Bloomfield Family Footcare in Bloomfield Hills and Dearborn, Michigan, board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Suha Kassab, DPM, delivers comprehensive care for bunions, whether you need custom-made orthotics or surgery. Call Bloomfield Family Footcare today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about bunions.

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What are bunions?

A bunion is a bone deformity that causes the joint at the base of the big toe to enlarge. As the joint grows, it pushes the big toe toward the second and third toe. The joint juts outward, causing friction and pressure against the skin when you wear shoes. Since this joint flexes with every movement, bunions can lead to chronic pain and irritation.

Bunions also increase your risk of developing other chronic conditions, including hammertoe, arthritis, or bursitis. The earlier you seek bunion treatment, the more likely you are to relieve your pain and preserve your mobility.

What are the signs of bunions?

Bunions typically appear as red, swollen bumps that distort the placement of the big toe. Other common signs of bunions include:

  • Corns and calluses on the skin
  • Pain when wearing shoes
  • Difficulty walking
  • Changes in your gait
  • Difficulty bending the big toe
  • Thickened skin

If you experience any of the above bunion symptoms, Dr. Kassab may perform an X-ray to determine the severity of the condition.

What causes bunions?

Many factors can cause bunions to develop. Genetics, inherited foot types, and certain autoimmune diseases raise your risk of developing bunions. Other common risk factors for bunions include:

Wearing poor-fitting footwear

Individuals who wear high-heels or narrow shoes are prone to bunions. Women are especially vulnerable to developing these painful bony growths.

Having rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the joints. If you have RA, the joint at the base of your big toe may swell and cause bunions.

Having a family history

If a close relative, such as your mother or father, has bunions, you’re more likely to develop this foot deformity as you age.

What are the treatments for bunions?

Dr. Kassab offers multiple treatments for bunions at Bloomfield Family Footcare, including:

  • Custom-made orthotics to support and cushion your feet
  • Shoe modifications (wider, more comfortable shoes)
  • Protective padding on your skin
  • Physical therapy to maintain your mobility and prevent stiff joints
  • Night splints to align the joint and toes
  • Procedures to remove corns and calluses
  • Bunion surgery to realign the toe

To learn more about bunions, call Bloomfield Family Footcare or schedule an appointment online today.