To ask your question, reply to this blog.

There is a lot of information on the web about bunion treatment.  We find much of it is misleading and some of it is patently false.   We have a tremendous amount of information on our website about bunions  That information can be found here:

If your questions are not answered on those pages, you may ask us questions about bunions by replying to the blog.  We are not able to provide specific medical advice but will do our best to answer your general questions about bunions.  If you have any foot problems we recommend you see a podiatrist.  Please read our disclaimer here.

This blog entry is designed to give you a chance to ask any questions you might have about bunions.  Simply reply to this blog to ask your question. First, however, use the links above to check for the information on our website.  You will likely find the answer to your question there.

If not, reply to this blog to ask your question. We will answer questions via the blog a couple times per week.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Larry Huppin, DPM         Doug Hale, DPM

Dr. Douglas S. Hale

Dr. Douglas S. Hale

Specialist in foot and ankle biomechanics/orthotics and reconstructive surgery at Foot and Ankle Center of Washington
Douglas S. Hale, DPM, is an advisor for the International Foot & Ankle Foundation for Education and Research. He graduated with honors from both Tulane University School of Engineering and the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. His engineering background gives him a unique perspective treating your problem biomechanically or surgically and believes in doing what is best for your medical condition. If all options for treating your problem “biomechanically” are exhausted, he provides the same level of capability and experience with surgical solutions.
Dr. Douglas S. Hale

15 thoughts on “Ask Us Your Bunion Questions

  1. I have a bunion and a “cross-over” 2nd toe. What corrective surgery is appropriate? Locally, Missoula, MT, removal of my 2nd toe has been given as an option but I am reluctant to have this perfectly “good” toe removed to accommodate the “culprit,” the great toe. Any advice would be appreciated. Carol Hansen, Hamilton, MT
    basecamp@hughes.net

    1. There are a number of surgical procedures that can be used. Unfortunately, without seeing you it would hard to tell you what would be appropriate for your foot.

      In general, however, amputation of the 2nd toe can be problematic as the bunion may get bigger without the 2nd toe there to buttress it.

      I would advise getting at least two or three opinions from local podiatrists before considering any surgery. I don’t know anyone in Missoula, although I’m sure there are some good people there. If you want to drive a few hours, Ron Ray, DPM in Great Falls has an excellent reputation. Might be worth it at least for a second opinion on surgical options for the crossover toe. Best of luck.

  2. I have had flat feed since childhood and now need bunion surgery. Does my having flat feed complicate the surgical procedure or my prognosis for recovery?
    Thank you –
    Ruth

    1. Hi Ruth,

      When the foot flattens, pressure increases under the big toe joint (the bunion joint). So having flat feet can make the recovery more difficult. A pair of well made orthotics that reduce the pressure under the big toe joint can help prevent these problems. You want to find a podiatrist who specializes in orthotic therapy as the orthotic must be prescribed correctly in order to provide greatest protection for your joint. These pages should provide the education you need to help you find an orthotic expert in your area:
      How to find good orthotics
      Total Contact Orthotics
      Bunion Treatment

      There are several good studies showing the importance of orthotic therapy in bunion treatment. When we do bunion surgery all of our patients understand that they must be in orthotics following surgery in order to achieve the best outcome. Good luck!

  3. I have bunions on both feet and wear custom orthotics on a regular basis. They seem to alleviate my bunion pain 95% of the time (not so much when I am traipsing all over NYC from dawn to dusk, but that’s not the norm). I think I am lucky that my pod caught and began treating the issue relatively early but am wondering if I am still looking at having surgery down the road. Do you think it is realistic to think that I will be able to continue to effectively treat my bunions throughout my lifetime without surgery?

    1. We only suggest bunion surgery if you have exhausted all conservative care, usually shoes and orthotics, and feel you cannot live with the amount of pain from your bunions. Some people go through their entire life without surgery and others with the same size bunion may require surgery due to their shoe and work requirements.

  4. I am an avid runner who has severe bunions. I am not in pain, and I wear custom orthotics all of the time, except when I am wearing Yoga Toes around the house. I am working with an osteopath to stretch and strengthen my feet and to increase the dexterity and flexibility of my toes. I am hoping to avoid surgery, as I do not want to risk not being able to run if surgery causes me to lose movement in my big toes. However, the big toe on my right foot has turned. It “turns its back” on the other toes in my right foot unless I wedge it next to my second toe. Is there a minor surgical fix for this problem?

    Also, I am trying to find nighttime splints that are cloth-based that will help me to gradually increase the space between my big toes and the second toes. The night splints with the plastic frames are VERY uncomfortable. I always wake up an hour after putting them on with my bunions throbbing. Any recommendations?

    Thanks.

    1. There is no evidence that devices like yoga toes or nighttime splints will help increase the space between your toes or make bunions smaller. The deformity happens over years caused by great forces in your foot while walking. Wearing something at night is not going to increaes the space. Given that we do recommend the braces to some patients simply because they feel better at night while wearing them.

      We consider surgery a very last resort for bunions, but in reality there is no way to make them smaller except surgery. So don’t have surgery if you don’t have pain, but don’t expect the bunions to get smaller with night braces or manipulation. And I don’t know of any cloth braces. More information on home treatment for bunions can be found here.

  5. I noticed that New Balance’s insoles are not reviewed on your site. I wonder if there’s a reason why? They seem to fit new balance shoes better than superfeet, and they have several types, is there one you would recommend for bunions?

  6. I have a bunion on my left foot which is not getting any better and recently began to hurt with any type of movement or extercise. I have considered surgery and would like to know if after surgery I will be able to wear heels again?

  7. I have a bunion on my right foot. I also get right knee pain when I jog or do certain exercises such as lunges. My Ortho Doc thinks it’s mild arthritis. While I feel that may be a contributing factor, can the bunion be a cause of the pain as well? I don’t have any custom orthotics.

    1. We are not able to offer medical advice on this forum. In general, a bunion will not CAUSE knee pain. But the same mechanical abnormalities that cause bunions can also contribute to some types of knee pain. For an answer to your specific issue, see a podiatrist who is skilled in biomechanics and orthotic therapy.

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