Bunions are a common but uncomfortable issue that affects millions of Americans. While anyone can develop a bunion, they’re especially common in people who wear high heels and other shoes that crowd the toes. At Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular, podiatrists Christyn Marshall, DPM, AACFAS and Jenny Lam, DPM, AACFAS and the team offer comprehensive care for bunions, including minimally invasive bunion surgery. To make an appointment at the practice in San Ramon, California, call the office today or schedule online.

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What are bunions?

A bunion is a sensitive, swollen bump that develops on the outer edge of your foot at the base of the big toe.

Bunions form slowly over an extended period and occur due to excess pressure on your big toe joint. Over time, that pressure causes the bones at the bottom of your toe to move out of alignment, resulting in a visible growth.

Who gets bunions?

Researchers estimate that bunions affect 1 in 3 Americans. Though anyone can develop a bunion, these painful growths are especially common in people who are middle-aged.

You’re also more likely to experience a bunion if you wear tight shoes that push your toes together or you have an unusual foot structure.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

Symptoms of bunions include:

  • Inability to bend your big toe
  • Difficulty wearing regular shoes, like sneakers
  • Thickened skin on the top or sides of your toe
  • A swollen or stiff toe

As your bunion grows in size, you might also experience a sensation of numbness or have trouble putting weight on your affected foot.

How are bunions diagnosed?

To diagnose bunions, the team at Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular asks about your symptoms and physically examines your foot. Since bunions cause a visible bony growth, they’re easy to detect with a simple visual exam.

How are bunions treated?

At Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular, the team uses conservative, minimally invasive treatments to manage bunions and their symptoms whenever possible. Depending on your needs, they might recommend:

  • Bunion pads
  • Taping
  • Custom orthotics
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections

Sometimes, conservative treatments aren’t enough to relieve bunion pain. If your symptoms get worse, your Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular provider might recommend minimally invasive bunion surgery.

During minimally invasive bunion surgery, your provider makes small incisions near the bunion, removes the damaged tissue, and realigns the bones in your toe.

Since the procedure is minimally invasive, there’s a reduced risk of complications and infection. What’s more, the surgery is outpatient, so you can return home the same day as your operation.

To learn more about the treatment of bunions, make an appointment at Diablo Podiatry and Bay Vascular by calling the office today or scheduling online.