Bunion Care


Bunions are bony bumps that don’t always resolve on their own. If you need professional intervention for bunions, highly skilled podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Gilbert Huang, DPM, can diagnose and treat your foot deformity at West America Foot and Ankle in San Mateo, California. Dr. Huang utilizes the latest treatments to address bunions, relieve pain, and preserve your foot function. Call the podiatry clinic today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Bunions Q&A

What are bunions?

A bunion is a lump of bone that forms inside the foot at the base of the big toe. It occurs when the bones in your foot shift due to pressure, causing the big toe to drift toward the smaller four. 

Bunions are painful foot deformities that can eventually change your gait (the way you walk) and lead to complications, such as foot, ankle, knee, and hip pain. The sooner you seek treatment for a bunion, the more likely you are to preserve your foot function without the need for surgery.

How do I know if I have bunions?

Bunions aren’t always prominent at first, but they can grow large over time. Smaller bunions are easier to treat, so early intervention is essential to preserve your foot health and function. Common signs of bunions include:

  • Limited movement in the big toe
  • Soreness in the affected joint
  • Pain when walking
  • Redness and tenderness
  • Visible deformity
  • A large bony bump

Many people with bunions also develop corns and calluses on their feet. These lesions form due to friction between your skin and your shoes.

What causes bunions?

There is no single cause of a bunion, but experts agree that certain inherited foot types, structural deformities, and injuries can increase your risk. Many lifestyle habits can also raise your chances of developing bunions. Common risk factors for bunions include:

  • Wearing narrow shoes
  • Wearing high-heels
  • Having rheumatoid arthritis
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes

If you’re at risk of developing bunions, investing in comfortable footwear may help slow their progression.

What are the treatments for bunions?

The goal of bunion treatment is to relieve pressure from the bony bumps to reduce pain and preserve your natural gait. Depending on the severity of your bunion, Dr. Huang may recommend:

  • Protective padding
  • Custom-made orthotics (shoe inserts)
  • Removal of corns and calluses
  • Exercise
  • Night splints
  • Footwear modifications

In advanced cases, Dr. Huang encourages surgical removal of bunions to restore your foot function and improve alignment between your toes and feet. He performs a comprehensive foot evaluation complete with X-rays and imaging scans to determine whether you’re a candidate for bunion surgery.

Call West America Foot and Ankle today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about bunions.