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Golden Valley, MN (763) 231-2341


Golden Valley Bunion Experts: Causes and Treatment


A bunion is one of the most common big toe problems treated by Dr. Silver. He has helped many patients find relief from the pain caused by this foot condition. The large bump on the side of the foot with the big toe leaning against the adjacent toe that is symptomatic of this problem is caused when the bones of the foot move out of position. It develops over time and you may not even notice a bump forming at the early stages.

Many people unnecessarily suffer from bunion pain for far too long when there are many forms of treatment that can lessen pain and stop or slow their progression. Understanding the causes and risk factors and available treatment options will help you take better care of your feet and hopefully avoid the need for surgery in the future.

What Causes Bunions?

This foot deformity is most often caused by an inherited faulty or weak foot structure. If your parents or grandparents either had bunions or a weak foot structure prone to the foot problem, you may be at risk as well. Tight, narrow shoes such as high heels are often blamed as a cause for this deformity. In reality, this type of footwear does not actually cause the deformity but will cause it to worsen or progress more quickly, meaning you will experience symptoms sooner. An injury or arthritis can also lead to the development of bunions. Also, it is not uncommon for young children or teens to exhibit the beginning of bunion deformities.

When Should I Seek Treatment?

As mentioned, bunions develop and progress over time. We especially encourage our patients to seek treatment if a bunion starts to cause pain. Since not all bunions become painful, patients are also encouraged to seek treatment when their bunions are getting larger, more deformed or causing problems fitting shoes comfortably. Therefore if a bunion is painful, getting larger, more deformed or causing problems with shoe fit then it’d definitely time to come and see us. Also if a child exhibits any bunion development (especially if bunions run in the family) then it’s imperative that parents get them in to see us! It’s much easier to slow or arrest the progression of bunions in children to prevent problems in adulthood.

Many people ignore bunion pain simply hoping and waiting until it subsides or goes away. They also ignore the fact that it’s getting larger and their feet are become more deformed. Unfortunately, no self-care treatment will make bunions go away. A change of shoes or activity may lessen the pain but the truth is that bunions will not get better on their own.

Caught in the earlier stage, this foot problem has a higher success rate with conservative treatments and if surgery becomes necessary it’s usually less complicated with a quicker recovery. The longer this problem is ignored and the worse it gets, the more involved and complicated treatment can be. There are many ways Dr. Silver can help you avoid the need for surgery, especially if caught in the early stages. If you have bunions that have progressed beyond conservative treatment options, our office can provide the right surgical procedure to permanently eliminate your bunions and bring your feet back to full health and function. The following are some common symptoms. Contact our office if you experience any of the following:

  • Pain or soreness-especially over the bunion bump or in the joint
  • Redness or inflammation-at the bunion bump or big toe
  • Burning or numbness-usually from rotation of the big toe
  • Calluses, sores, corns between the 1st and 2nd toes or ingrown toenails

What are the Treatment Options?

It is important to seek treatment if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above. Even if these symptoms are not present but you can visibly see a bump forming on the side of your big toe, it is imperative to take precautionary action. The bigger your bunion gets, the more it will hurt to walk and bursitis or arthritis of the big toe joint may also set in. The angled big toe can force other toes out of alignment. Bunions left untreated can also lead to chronic pain, arthritis and problems walking or enjoying the activities you enjoy the most. Avoid these painful and serious complications with proactive treatment. Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Silver can provide several treatment options:

  • Change in footwear: we have a full line of Dr. Comfort shoes available or will make recommendations.
  • Padding over the bunion to minimize pain: we carry several types of gel bunion cushions and toe spacers
  • A cortisone injection: to reduce joint pain or bursitis
  • Custom orthotics: to balance your feet and counter-act the forces that are causing your bunion
  • Surgery

If surgery is required, there are several procedures Dr. Silver can choose from to provide full relief from your symptoms. Bunion surgery is referred to as a bunionectomy. It most often involves removing the bump on the inside of the big toe joint and realigning the bone, ligaments and tendons to bring the big toe back to its normal position.

Our patients who have bunion surgery have it performed on a same-day, outpatient basis, requiring only local anesthesia and light sedation. Some pain and swelling after surgery is normal and full recovery naturally will take time but most patients can walk on their foot shortly after surgery and heal well while wearing a special post-surgery shoe or boot that we provide.

Do not go through life with unnecessary bunion pain! Westwood Foot Clinic has the answers to keeping your feet healthy and pain-free. Call us today or visit our homepage to request an appointment online.

Westwood Foot Clinic proudly serves the communities of St. Louis Park, New Hope, Plymouth, Wayzata, and Minneapolis.

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