Treatment Strategies for Bunions


A bunion is a painful deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe that results in the joint moving out of place and leaning toward the second toe. This produces the characteristic bump on the side of the toe, which is unsightly and can make it difficult to wear shoes. At Goldsmith Podiatry, patients often come to us with bunions. The treatment strategy that is best will vary from patient to patient.

Assessing a Bunion

Bunions are a progressive condition, meaning that they will generally worsen over time. Our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith or Dr. Rosanna Troia, will need to do a full evaluation of your bunion to determine how far it has progressed. In addition to physically examining your toe and foot, the podiatrist will likely order x-rays to get a better picture of the condition of the toe joint.

Conservative Options

When diagnosed in its earliest stages, non-surgical treatment options may be possible. These include:

  • Shoe changes—wearing shoes with wider toe boxes can help take the pressure off the affected toe. Shoes that are narrow and pointy and high heels can accelerate the progression of a bunion by forcing the toe further out of position.
  • Orthotics—since most bunions are caused by an inherited faulty foot structure, the podiatrist may prescribe an orthotic device to be worn in your shoes that will reposition your foot into a position that encourages better alignment of the joint.
  • Padding—cushioning a bunion can reduce pain and discomfort. It can also be helpful if you have developed corns due to the constant friction from footwear.

Bunion Surgery

Ultimately, the only way to correct a bunion is through a surgery known as a bunionectomy. There are several different types of bunionectomies and the foot and ankle surgeon will determine the best one for you based on the specific structural defect causing your bunion. The surgery is usually performed on an out-patient basis and many patients can return to work within a relatively short period of time.

Don’t suffer unnecessarily with a bunion. The sooner you seek evaluation and treatment the sooner you will experience relief. Contact our New York City office for an appointment by calling: 212-877-1002.