If wearing high heels or tight-fitting shoes has resulted in a bony bump on the side of your toe, you’ll need treatment for a bunion. At St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein in St. Augustine, Florida, experienced podiatrist Thomas LeBeau, DPM, FACCWS, offers comprehensive care for painful bunions. Dr. LeBeau creates a customized treatment plan to ease or eliminate your pain and make walking easier. Find out more about available treatments of bunions by calling the office or by booking an appointment online today.

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What are bunions?

Bunions are painful, bony bumps that develop on the inside of your foot, usually at the base of the big toe joint. This type of condition typically develops slowly over time due to pressure on the big toe joint from wearing ill-fitting shoes.

You can also develop bunions because of your family’s medical history or if you have an underlying medical condition like rheumatoid arthritis or another inflammatory disease.

A bunion causes the big toe to start leaning towards your second toe, eventually resulting in bone changes that cause the bump. Without treatment, a bunion can cause a more severe deformity in your toe joint, making it difficult for you to walk or even wear shoes comfortably.

What are the symptoms of a bunion?

As the bunion grows larger, your symptoms increase. Common symptoms of a bunion include:

  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic pain
  • Callused skin

A bunion also severely limits your big toe’s range of motion. Pain caused by your bunion will worsen over time without treatment and can interfere with your ability to stand or walk comfortably.

How is a bunion diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of a bunion, Dr. LeBeau will discuss your medical history and your symptoms with you to help you both understand the cause of your pain and/or mobility issues. He’ll do a physical exam of your foot, evaluating the size and site of the bony protrusion.

To confirm a bunion and to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms, Dr. LeBeau will usually do an X-ray.

How are bunions treated?

Nonsurgical treatments are the first option for easing the pain and mobility issues related to bunions. Dr. LeBeau could initially suggest wearing shoes with a wider width and avoiding tight-fitting shoes and high heels. He could also recommend padded inserts that prevent friction on the bunion that can lead to pain.

Custom-fitted orthotics can also relieve the pain of bunions when you’re physically active. Orthotics placed in your shoes relieve pressure on the existing bunion and your other toes. Toe spacers help separate toes to prevent a worsening of your condition.

To address chronic pain, Dr. LeBeau can recommend over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatories and ice therapy.

If these treatments aren’t enough to improve your mobility, Dr. LeBeau could then refer you for surgery to realign the bones and soft tissues of your big toe.

You don’t have to live with chronic bunion pain. Schedule a consultation with Dr. LeBeau today by calling the office or by requesting an appointment online.