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Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Ankeny serving greater Des Moines, IA

If the bony, painful bump on your big toe makes it uncomfortable to walk or wear shoes, you probably have a bunion. While some bunion symptoms can be relieved with do-it-yourself methods, many times bunions may require medical treatment. Mindi Dayton, DPM, MHA and Paul Dayton, DPM, MS, offer state of the art bunion treatment at Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa in Ankeny, Iowa. Call the practice or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Bunions Q & A

What are bunions?

Bunions are bumps that occur by your big toe due to some of your bones moving out of place. They are NOT just an overgrowth of bone that can be shaved. The big toe gets pulled toward the smaller toes, forcing the joint of your big toe to stick out. Sometimes the skin over the bunion becomes red and sore. Bunionettes are smaller bunions on the joint of your little toe.

What causes bunions?

The exact cause of bunions is unknown. Bunions, may occur as a result of genetics, a foot deformity or arthritis. They can be made more painful by wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow. Potential risk factors for bunion pain include:

  • Wearing high heels
  • Wearing shoes that are too narrow, too tight, or too pointed
  • Increasing activity
  • Having rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions

Bunions may also be a hereditary problem due to genetics and the anatomy of your feet.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

The most common signs you have a bunion include:

  • Bump on the outside of your big toe
  • Foot pain
  • Limited movement of your big toe
  • Redness and swelling in your big toe joint
  • Calluses between first and second toe
  • Calluses under the second toe

In some patients, bunions can be treated with conservative, nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain and pressure, but some bunions require surgical treatment, which can eliminate the bunion and help to prevent further damage to the foot.

How are bunions treated?

Wearing comfortable shoes can manage minor discomfort associated with bunions. Padded shoe inserts or nonmedicated bunion pads can relieve pain, as well.

When conservative bunion treatments don't relieve your symptoms, or it is leading to further foot deformities, you may require surgery. At Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa we use triplane bunion correction to correct bunions at the root of the deformity to solve the problem and fix the anatomy. More information on the triplane procedure that the surgeons at Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa perform for a bunion with a healthy big toe joint can be found from the homepage. 

Many people can walk immediately after bunion surgery, but full recovery can take several weeks or months. You need to wear proper shoes to aid with recovery, and most people are unable to wear narrow shoes at all after a bunion procedure.

If you have a bunion causing pain that’s not relieved through over-the-counter or at-home treatments, call Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation today.