Bunions Hallux Valgas

Treatment and Information


A bunion, or Hallux Valgus, is usually caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. However, the bunion is not what is inherited, it is certain foot types that make one more prone to developing bunions. Congenital foot deformities and foot injuries may also lead to the development of bunions.

Wearing shoes that crowd the toes will not cause bunions, but they may contribute to the progression of the deformity and make symptoms appear sooner.

There are several symptoms that may appear at the site of the bunion including:

  • A large bump on the outside of the base of the big toe
  • Redness, swelling, or soreness around the joint of the big toe
  • Corns or calluses develop where the toes overlap
  • Intermittent or persistent pain
  • A burning sensation
  • Restricted movement of the big toe, especially if one also suffers from arthritis
  • Possible numbness


Bunions are very easy to identify due to the prominent bump at the base of the big toe. Depending on your specific situation, we may take x-rays to fully determine the degree of your deformity and thoroughly asses the changes that have occurred in your foot.

As we’ve stated, bunions are a progressive deformity. They do not go away, and become gradually worse over time. When it comes to bunions, however, not all cases are the same. Some bunions will progress more rapidly than others. After we have evaluated your bunion, we can create a treatment plan that is best suited to your needs.

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Hallux valgus, bunion in foot


There are several options to help treat the symptoms of bunions without surgery. However, the deformity cannot be reversed without surgical intervention.

Non-surgical treatments aimed at easing bunion pain include:

  • Activity modifications. Avoid standing for extended periods of time.
  • Change in footwear. Wear shoes that have a wide toe box. Avoid shoes that can aggravate the condition like high heels and pointed toes.
  • To reduce inflammation and pain you can apply an ice pack several times a day.
  • NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, are sometimes recommended to help with pain and inflammation.
  • Pads that you place over the bunion can help reduce pain. These can be found at most drug stores, or at our pharmacy
  • Orthotic devices. In some cases, we may prescribe a custom orthotic


Surgery may be recommended if the pain of a bunion is severe and/or interferes with daily activities. There are a few different options of surgical procedures available for bunion treatment. No single technique is best for every problem. If it is decided that surgery is your best option, we will perform a thorough examination of your foot and come up with an individual treatment plan based on the results.

The surgical procedures are designed to remove the bump of bone, and correct any changes in the bony structure and soft tissues of the foot that may have occurred. The main goal of bunion surgery is to reduce pain.

Surgical procedures for bunions might include:

  • Removing the swollen tissue from around the toe joint
  • Straightening the big toe by removing part of the bone
  • Straightening out the abnormal angle in your big toe joint
  • realigning the long bone between the big toe and the back part of your foot.
  • Joining the bones of your affected joint permanently

Recovery time can take weeks to months, depending on the severity of the deformity and the amount of work done. In order to prevent a recurrence, you will want to wear properly fitting shoes after recovery. We are happy to discuss further details on what to expect after a bunion surgery at the time of your appointment.

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Feet shouldn’t hurt, and neither should their treatment. If you are experiencing foot pain or problems, then give us a call. The podiatrists at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle will thoroughly examine your feet and evaluate your symptoms to better understand your condition.