Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute

Podiatrist Foot & Ankle Reconstruction Surgery located in Barkley Village, Bellingham, WA

Bunions are unsightly, but they can also cause problems wearing shoes and walking if you don’t get treatment. If you’re hiding your feet in shame because of bunions, expert podiatrists Michael Czurylo, DPM, and Hyowon Choi, DPM, at Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute are here to help. Call the Bellingham, Washington, office to schedule a consultation or request an appointment online today.

Bunions Q & A

What are bunions?

Bunions, also called hallux valgus, are the most common type of foot deformity. A bunion is a hard protrusion at the base of the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint in your big toe. 

Bunions continue to develop over time unless you get treatment. A new bunion often has a slight bump and isn’t necessarily too obvious, but it causes your feet to roll slightly inwards over time. This puts a lot of pressure on your MTP joint and causes the bump to grow increasingly prominent. 

As the bunion grows, the big toe starts angling towards your second toe and eventually overlaps (or possibly underlaps) it. 

Bunions can be quite painful and often make it hard to find shoes that don’t rub your MTP joint and become uncomfortable. Additionally, bunions are quite unsightly and may make you want to swear off sandals forever. With help from the Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute, your feet can look and feel better. 

What causes bunions?

Bunions occur because of abnormal pressure on your MTP joint, which can happen for various reasons, including: 

  • Inherited foot type
  • Abnormal walking patterns
  • Traumatic foot injury
  • Congenital foot deformity
  • Neuromuscular disorders affecting the feet
  • Regularly wearing tight upper shoes, like high heels
  • Joint inflammation and swelling caused by rheumatoid arthritis

Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute can identify the cause of your bunion in the office, using state-of-the-art X-ray and ultrasound imaging. Your podiatrist creates a treatment plan that emphasizes your comfort and convenience. 

How does a bunion treatment work?

Bunion treatment at Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute may include:

  • Oral anti-inflammatory drugs for inflammation and pain
  • Cortisone injections for severe inflammation and pain
  • Ultrasound therapy to reduce swelling and pain around the MTP joint
  • Custom orthotics to control your foot function, preventing ankle rolling and other issues
  • Surgical interventions

If conservative treatments fail, or if your bunion is already so pronounced that non-operative procedures can't help, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to remove excess bone and reposition the joint. 

If you want the best in bunion care now, call the Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute to schedule or request an appointment online today.