Bunions Specialist

Lake Erie Podiatry

Michael Ruiz, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in West Millcreek, Erie, PA

Bunions can make it challenging to wear shoes and walk normally. Michael Ruiz, DPM, and his team at Lake Erie Podiatry in Erie, Pennsylvania, offers effective bunion treatments to help relieve your pain and get you back on your feet. If bunion pain a

Bunions Q & A

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a common foot deformity that causes a bony bump to develop at the base of your big toe. Also called hallux valgus, bunions develop slowly as a result of pressure on the big toe joint. When a bunion forms on the little toe on the outside of your foot, it’s called a bunionette. 

Bunions usually don’t resolve on their own. Without treatment, a bunion may lead to other foot problems, such as hammertoe or metatarsalgia, which causes pain and swelling in the ball of your foot. 

What are the symptoms of a bunion?

The most prominent bunion symptom is a bulging bump on the inside of your foot at the big toe joint. Other signs and symptoms of a bunion include:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Redness and swelling
  • Stiffness in the big toe that limits movement
  • Corns or calluses that develop where the toes rub together

Bunion symptoms develop gradually. As the condition progresses, you may find it difficult or painful to wear shoes and walk.

What causes bunions?

Bunions result from a misalignment in your foot that causes the big toe to lean in toward the second toe. This misalignment may be due to several factors, including:

Inherited foot structure

Your genetics determine the shape and structure of your foot. Some foot structures are more likely to develop bunions than others. 

Foot stress or injuries

Putting stress on your foot, or getting an injury like a hyperextended toe, can cause a bunion. Foot stress is common from wearing high heels or shoes with pointed toes. 

Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis, a group of conditions causing joint inflammation, often leads to irritable bunions on the feet. 

How are bunions diagnosed?

Dr. Ruiz and the team at Lake Erie Podiatry can diagnose your bunion based on a physical exam. He may also take an X-ray to check the alignment of your foot bones and evaluate the severity of your condition so they can recommend the best course of treatment.  

How are bunions treated?

Many people experience relief from non-surgical treatments, such as:

  • Changing to shoes with a roomier toe box
  • Padding the bunion
  • Wearing custom orthotics
  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication

 If you continue to suffer from pain and symptoms despite conservative treatments, Dr. Ruiz may recommend surgery. Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction is a highly effective, in-office procedure to treat bunions. The surgery aligns the joint at the base of your toe along 3D planes before removing and fusing the unstable joint. 

For advanced bunion treatment, call Lake Erie Podiatry or book an appointment online today.