Bunions Specialist

Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates

Podiatrists and Foot & Ankle Surgeons located in Coatesville, Limerick, and Exton, PA

If you have persistent discomfort at the base of your big toe joint, along with a growing bump, it’s likely a bunion. At Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates in Coatesville, Limerick, and Exton, Pennsylvania, the expert board-certified podiatrists treat the underlying cause of bunions: changes in your foot’s bony framework. The experts can correct bunions with a cutting-edge procedure called Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction™, and you can walk within just a few days. Call the office nearest you or schedule a consultation online today.

Bunions Q&A

What are bunions?

A bunion is a type of foot deformity where the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the bottom of your big toe protrudes from the side. 

Bunions cause a significant protrusion of bone that can rub against your shoes and disrupt your gait. A less common form of a bunion is a bunionette, a tiny bump on the side of your little toe. 

What causes bunions?

Bunions may look like they're just a bump of extra bone, but they start much deeper, in an unstable joint in your midfoot. Because of the joint instability, the first metatarsal, the long thin bone that connects to your big toe, shifts outward. That, in turn, pushes your MTP joint out, and the bunion develops over time. 

The specific reason for these changes in the foot is uncertain, but inherited foot issues can increase your risk of bunions; foot trauma can also play a role. If you're prone to bunions, wearing tight shoes may hasten their growth.

If you have hammertoes or other foot deformities, you're more likely to also have bunions. Foot arthritis, which often affects the big toe, usually occurs alongside bunions as well.

When should I seek treatment for bunions?

Signs that you need a bunion evaluation include:

  • Soreness or discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Your shoes don't fit properly
  • You can't wear shoes with snug uppers
  • You're embarrassed to show your feet 

Without treatment, bunions tend to worsen over time. So, even if you have relatively mild symptoms now, it's best to treat the problem as early as possible. 

How are bunions treated?

Treatment for bunions depends on a few factors, including the severity of the deformity and your goals for the treatment. 

If you have a minor bunion, the team at Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates can help you prevent its progression in a few ways, such as wearing custom orthotics and splinting the toe, padding, and icing can curb discomfort. None of these treatments, however, can change or remove a bunion. 

If your bunion causes serious symptoms or grows more prominent, bunion surgery is usually the best treatment. The board-certified podiatric surgeons at Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates regularly perform a cutting-edge procedure for bunions, Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction. 

During Lapiplasty, your surgeon secures the unstable joint causing your bunion. This provides a proper deformity repair, which produces far better long-term results than simply removing the bone. 

After Lapiplasty, you can typically walk with a boot for support within a couple of days. After that, you can usually transition back to running shoes in around 6-8 weeks. 

Bunions are a foot deformity and require specialized care, so call Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates or book an appointment online today.