Bunions

Brian Wascavage, DPM -  - Foot & Ankle Surgeon

MetroWest Podiatry

Brian Wascavage, DPM

Foot & Ankle Surgeon & Podiatrist located in Framingham, MA & Marlboro, MA

Around 55% of women and a significant number of men have bunions today. Bunions grow slowly, so you can prevent progression with help from skilled podiatrist Brian Wascavage, DPM, at MetroWest Podiatry. Dr. Wascavage can also perform corrective surgery for serious bunions. Don’t wait to get help; click the online link or call the Framingham or Marlborough, Massachusetts, office.

Bunions Q&A

What are bunions?

A bunion is an overgrowth of bone in the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of your big toe. That creates a protrusion on the side of your foot, right around the bottom of your big toe. When you have a bunion, your big toe points towards your other toes. 

With severe bunions, your big toe may overlap your second and even third toes. Bunions usually grow over a period of years, so it's important to recognize symptoms and start treatment immediately if they occur.

What are the symptoms of a bunion?

The prominent bump is the main sign of a bunion, but you may also have some other issues beyond appearance. Bunions often cause soreness, pain, and stiffness. Walking may become difficult. 

Because bunions commonly alter your walking pattern, you're prone to other foot issues like hammertoe. You may also develop calluses on the bottom of your foot or corns on top of your toes where the big toe covers them. 

What causes bunions?

You inherit your foot type, which means you can also inherit a risk of bunions. One common contributor to bunions is ill-fitting footwear, especially tight shoes with pointed toes. 

Foot trauma doesn't cause bunions right away, but it can cause major changes in your foot that may eventually lead to a bunion.

How are bunions diagnosed?

At MetroWest Podiatry, Dr. Wascavage checks your foot carefully to observe changes or emerging abnormalities. Although he can commonly identify bunions with a visual exam, Dr. Wascavage may use imaging tests like X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to identify the extent of the abnormality, and the way it affects your movement. 

How are bunions treated?

Bunion treatment depends on whether your goal is preventing progression or removing the bunion. There are a variety of conservative methods to manage symptoms and slow progression, such as taping, padding, and custom orthotics. 

Special exercises like toe pointing, toe curls, and picking up marbles with your toes can strengthen your feet and slow bunion progression. Of course, you should also avoid wearing shoes like high heels.

If you have a severe bunion or if your bunion causes symptoms that don't recede with conservative treatments, Dr. Wascavage may recommend bunion surgery. In a bunionectomy, he can remove the excess bone and reposition the joint securely. 

If a bunion causes pain and embarrassment, there's no reason to live with it. Contact MetroWest Podiatry by phone or through the online scheduler for customized bunion care.