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Bunions Specialist

Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine

Podiatry & Sports Medicine Physicians located in Kirkland, WA

Bunions change the shape of your foot and – if not corrected – cause gait problems and pain. Expert podiatrists Lawrence Maurer, DPM and Peter M. Vincent, DPM resolve bunions and restore your foot’s proper alignment through noninvasive therapies and surgery at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine. If you have a bunion and live in Kirkland, Washington or the surrounding communities, contact the podiatrists at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine by phone or online form for relief today.

Bunions Q & A

What are bunions?

A bunion looks like a bump at the base of your big toe, but it’s actually a misalignment and deformity of your big toe joint. The joint where bunions appear is called the metatarsophalangeal joint, sometimes referred to as the MTP joint or just MTJ.

How did I get bunions?

Many bunions are genetic. However, lifestyle factors also figure into bunion development. The kinds of footwear you wear, and how well or poorly you treat your feet can not only cause bunions but worsen them. Bunions are more common in women than men, and that’s because women are more likely to wear shoes with high heels and/or tight toe boxes that compress the MTJ.

Whether because of a congenital deformity or pressure on your foot, a bunion forms when your MTJ shifts out of alignment, pressing the big toe toward your second toe. The base of the toe creates a hard bump on the side of your foot.

How can I tell if I have bunions?

If you’ve just started developing a bunion, you might just notice a knobby, hard area that sticks out at the MTJ. Over time – especially if you wear tight shoes – the pressure and irritation on your MTJ can cause symptoms such as:

  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Swelling
  • Pain when walking
  • Big toe pressing or overlapping other toes
  • Corns and calluses between toes
  • Hammertoes

If you think you have a bunion, don’t wait for symptoms to develop. Your Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine specialist helps your MTJ achieve proper alignment to prevent your bunions from worsening.

How can I treat my bunions?

Your expert Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicinepodiatrist first recommends lifestyle changes that can help your big toe return to a healthy alignment. First-line treatments include:

  • Switching to flat shoes
  • Getting shoes with wider toe boxes
  • Alleviating pressure with bunion pads
  • Applying ice compresses  
  • Using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)

If these measures don’t help, contact Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine.

How do podiatrists treat bunions?

Your Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine podiatrist custom-designs supportive orthotics that reposition your MTJ. You place your orthotics in your everyday footwear.

If you have severe bunions, your podiatrist could recommend bunion surgery. A bunionectomy is an in-office procedure that will require you keep weight off your foot for a few weeks.

Take your bunion seriously and get your MTJ back in alignment by visiting Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine. Call or use the online form today to book a bunions consultation.