Bunions Specialist

Portland Foot & Ankle Institute -  - Foot & Ankle Surgeon

Portland Foot & Ankle Institute

Foot & Ankle Surgeon located in Portland, OR

Bunions are common, but that doesn’t mean you should suffer from their symptoms. Highly skilled podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Michael A. Gentile, DPM, FACFAS, offers innovative bunion treatments at Portland Foot & Ankle Institute in Portland, Oregon. Early treatment for a bunion may help you avoid surgery — call or book an appointment online today.

Bunions Q & A

What is a bunion?

Also called hallux valgus, a bunion is a bony bump that develops at the base of your big toe joint. Bunions develop gradually as a result of pressure on your big toe. They start when your big toe leans inward instead of pointing straight ahead. This often occurs when you wear shoes that are too narrow or tight.

Over time, this pressure changes the bone structure of your foot and causes a visible bump to form at the big toe joint. Without treatment, the condition grows progressively worse and may eventually make it painful and difficult to walk or wear shoes.

When a bunion forms on the little toe joint on the outside of your foot, it’s called a bunionette.

What causes bunions?

Most of the time, bunions are due to an abnormal foot structure inherited from your parents. Having certain medical conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, can also increase your risk of a bunion.

Wearing shoes with a narrow, pointed toe box may aggravate the condition by forcing your toes into an unnatural position. Narrow shoes don’t cause bunions, but may cause symptoms to develop more rapidly.

How do I know if I have a bunion?

The most prominent sign of a bunion is a visible bony bump along the inside of your foot at the big toe joint. The bunion bump may be red and painful. If a bunion causes your toe to rub against the inside of your shoe, you may also develop corns and calluses.

How are bunions diagnosed and treated?

Dr. Gentile diagnoses a bunion by examining your foot and reviewing your symptoms and medical history. He also takes X-rays to determine the underlying cause and severity of your bunion.

Then, Dr. Gentile develops a personalized treatment plan to relieve your specific bunion symptoms. Depending on the severity of your bunion, treatment may include:

  • Changing to shoes with a roomier toe box
  • Wearing orthotics, toe spacers, or a night splint
  • Padding the bunion to reduce pressure
  • Oral medications or steroid injections if appropriate.

If your bunion causes severe pain and symptoms that don’t improve with conservative treatment, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Gentile is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon with expertise in bunion surgery.

Don’t hesitate to seek treatment for a bunion. Call Portland Foot & Ankle Institute or book an appointment online today.