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Bunions… can Podiatry help?

Tina Fanartzis  |  Senior Podiatrist

What are bunions?
A hallux abducto valgus deformity, commonly known as a bunion, is when the big toe joint is laterally deviated causing a bony protrusion. Bunions tend to progressively get worse if prevention strategies are not in place.

What are the Symptoms of bunions?
Bunions can be asymptomatic or symptomatic. Below are the symptoms that may be experiences with sore bunions

  • Redness and inflammation of the bunion site
  • A dull ache or a sharp pain may be present
  • Pain during weight bearing and non- weight bearing activities
  • Callus or corns forming on the plantar aspect of the bunion site
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Weak surrounding muscles
  • Instability particularly during gait

Differential diagnosis includes:
Sesamoiditis- Overuse injury involving inflammation of the sesamoids in the ball of the foot
– A painful arthritic condition caused by too much uric acid in the body
Metatarsal Stress Fracture
Periosteal inflammation. Pain typically around the metatarsal phalangeal joint as well as inflammation of the joint capsule and surrounding tendons

What is the cause?
Bunions can form from a variety of reasons including;

  • Flat feet
  • Genetics
  • Inappropriate footwear (tight pointed- toe shoes)
  • Chronic achilles tightness
  • Trauma
  • Hypermobility of the first metatarsal cuneiform joint
  • Limb length discrepancy
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What can you do to treat your Bunion??

  • Changes in footwear – shoes that are wide and deep in the toe box, as well as having a slightly raised heel
  • Toe separator- Slows down the deviation of the big toe moving laterally
  • Orthotic devices – Used to redistribute pressure to offload the big toe as well as raising the arch
  • Increase calf flexibility – stretching, soft tissue massage and dry needling help to increase calf flexibility. Increased calf flexibility will reduce the amount of pressure on the MTPJs.
  • Cortisone injection – this can help to reduce pain and inflammation when painful
  • Surgery – can be considered in the later stages.


Podiatrist can help with footwear, toe separators, orthotic devices and increased calf flexibility so make sure you consult your podiatrist if you a worried that a bunion is forming! 

To learn more about Tina Fanartzis or our podiatry service visit our website… click here