Podiatrist Blog

Posts for tag: Bunions

By Providence Foot Health Center
March 31, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  
BunionsHave you been diagnosed with a bunion? A bunion is a common foot deformity that if left untreated can cause significant pain, swelling, structural changes and even trouble walking. Of course, it’s important to prevent a bunion from getting to this point, and the best way to do that is to turn to a podiatrist for a tailored-to-you treatment plan. The good news is that there are also some simple lifestyle changes you can make right now to slow the progress of your bunion.

Conservative Treatment Options

If a bunion is caught during the early stages, then you’re in luck. Most people can get away with at-home care and more conservative ways to manage their bunions. Most podiatrists will recommend conservative measures first to see if they ease bunion stiffness, pain and swelling. It’s when symptoms aren’t managed through these lifestyle changes that a podiatrist steps in to provide relief. Some conservative ways to treat bunions include,
  • Icing the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time to ease pain and swelling. This can be done 3-4 times a day, every day, as needed.
  • Taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen that can reduce inflammation and pain (while medication only provides temporary relief, when you are in pain, this medication can certainly help)
  • Stretching out the foot with special mobility exercises for the feet and ankles (ask your podiatrist or simply search online for some of the best foot stretches to ease bunion stiffness)
  • Wearing proper footwear that provides the ideal cushioning, fit, and support
  • Avoiding high heels, shoes that put pressure on the bunion, and shoes with a pointed toe
  • Getting custom orthotics from a podiatrist (these custom-made shoe inserts can provide additional support for the deformed joint)
What happens if these options don’t work?

So, you’ve been trying to manage your bunion symptoms on your own but nothing seems to be working. Does this sound like you? If so, it’s time to employ the help of your trusty podiatrist. After all, that’s what they are there for. A podiatrist can provide you with the treatment plan you need when home care fails to provide you with the results you’re looking for. Your podiatrist may recommend splinting, padding or tapping, or may prescribe a stronger pain reliever. They can also suggest specialty footwear that can provide ample support. They can also determine if it’s time to get corrective bunion surgery.

If you adopt these simple solutions you may find that it drastically slows the growth of your bunions and may even keep you from needing surgery in the future. Of course, if your bunion is causing you severe pain, it’s always best to speak with a foot and ankle specialist to find out what you can do to better manage your symptoms.
By Providence Foot Health Center
September 27, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

Bunions are uncomfortable bumps on the side of the foot that can make wearing your shoes difficult. They can also be very painful as the protruding skin rubs along the side of the shoe. The most common type of bunions manifests on the side of the big toe. You can take steps toward managing the discomfort they can bring on with the help of your podiatrist, but what is it that causes bunions in Washington, DC? A number of risk factors can make you more likely to develop them. To learn more, reach out to Dr. James Mintzer of Providence Foot Health Center.

Risk Factors

Wearing shoes that are too tight-fitting and carrying extra weight can contribute to developing a bunion, but it is believed that the underlying reason for them is genetic and has a lot to do with the structure of your feet. If you are already predisposed, the above-mentioned factors can exacerbate the condition. What is happening beneath the skin is that your big toe is becoming forced inward and the bump that is created is actually your joint as it now gets pushed outward.


The most important thing to do is to begin wearing shoes with plenty of room for your toes. A bunion bends your big toe in the direction of the other four, so you don't want footwear that squeezes them together even more. A cause for concern is friction between your toes and where the bunion rubs against the edge of the shoe. By wearing shoes that are too tight you risk further deforming your foot.

Bunion Treatment in Washington, DC

Your podiatrist can recommend orthotics to help improve support and reduce pressure on your feet. They can also recommend padding to aid with the pain associated with bunions. These treatments do not decrease the size of your bunion, to do so or to treat severe discomfort, your doctor may suggest surgery in an effort to provide you with relief.

If you are suffering from bunions in Washington, DC, don't wait to do something about them. Contact your podiatrist Dr. Mintzer of Providence Foot Health Center by dialing 202-269-4062.

By Providence Foot Health Center
November 24, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

A bunion is basically a painful condition that impacts the joint located at the big toe’s base. Bunions typically develop over time in most adults, but they could likewise develop in children between 10 and 15 years old. In other cases, bunions can develop in the small toe. These are called tailor’s bunions or bunionettes, and they could be extremely painful.

If not treated properly, bunions could make walking very painful, and wearing closed footwear almost impossible. Likewise, an untreated bunion might also result in the bog toe losing mobility, bursitis, and arthritis. Thankfully, bunions typically respond well to prompt, conservative therapies.

This means that you should visit your podiatrist in Washington, DC, Dr. James Mintzer of Providence Foot Health Center once you experience bunion symptoms. Your podiatrist can suggest the most suitable treatment options according to the extent of the bunion and your related symptoms.

Conservative Treatment Options for Bunions

The primary goal of bunion treatment is to alleviate your symptoms and slow down the bunion’s progression. Podiatrists will exhaust every conservative therapy first before recommending more invasive bunion treatments, including surgery.

Bunions, while not life-threatening, must be evaluated promptly since they could negatively affect your mobility. Over time, they could likewise cause complications such as arthritis. Fortunately, most bunions can be managed with early and conservative therapies, including the following:

  • Ice or cold packs applied to aching bunions
  • Bunion pads developed for cushioning the bunion
  • Splints for realigning the joint with gentle pressure
  • Medicines for easing joint inflammation and pain
  • Shoes that don’t squeeze your toes or place undue pressure on them
  • Custom shoe inserts, also called orthotics, for correcting irregular foot mechanics

Surgical Intervention for Bunions

In case your bunion persists after trying conservative therapies, or if it’s so severe that your big toe is already crossing over the adjacent toe, your podiatrist in Washington, DC, might recommend bunion surgery. While surgery isn’t an actual cure for bunions, they’re capable of getting rid of pain and correcting the deformity. These surgical therapies include a bunionectomy, realigning the metatarsal and phalanx bones, as well as fusing the metatarsal and phalanx bones.

It’s vital to point out that recovering from surgery will take a long time. However, prompt diagnosis and treatment will help you avoid the more difficult aspects of recovery.

Talk to Us For Help Treating Your Bunion

Schedule an assessment here at Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC, with Dr. James Mintzer by dialing 202-269-4062.

By Providence Foot Health Center
September 04, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions   Bunion Treatment  

A bunion is a swelling at the base of the big toe, which as it grows, causes the big toe to bend inwards, eventually crossing the second toe. Bunions can be a real pain in the foot and can make your life miserable. Dr. James Mintzer is a podiatrist at Providence Foot Health Center in Washington DC, where he treats all types of foot and ankle problems including plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, and bunions.

Treatment for Bunions

When bunions are not treated, they can be very painful and unattractive. They can also make wearing shoes difficult. Washington, DC patients have the following treatment options for bunions:

  • Medication: You may take oral anti-inflammatory medications to ease the discomfort. If the pain is severe, Dr. Mintzer may recommend anti-inflammatory injections.
  • Orthotic inserts: You can buy orthotic inserts from your local pharmacy. But if you want orthotic inserts that provide real comfort, Dr. Mintzer can provide you with customized inserts.
  • Surgery: If your bunions are severe and causing a lot of pain, Dr. Mintzer may recommend surgery.

Surgical Correction of Bunions

You will be given a local anesthetic before the procedure. Dr. Mintzer will use one of three bunions removal procedures:

  • Osteotomy: Your big toe joint will be realigned to its normal position.
  • Exostectomy: Your bunion will be removed from the joint without the realignment,
  • Arthrodesis: If the joint is damaged, it may be replaced with metal plates or screws to correct the misalignment.

After the procedure, your foot will be bandaged, and you should be able to go home with three hours. Recovery typically takes several weeks.

If you live in Washington, DC and you would like Dr. Mintzer to take a look at your bunions, call his office at (202) 269-4062 to make an appointment.

By Providence Foot Health Center
July 13, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  
BunionsIf you’re dealing with a bunion then you know that this pain is no joke. If you’re dealing with a throbbing, aching pain at the base of your big toe then you could very well be dealing with a bunion. This problem, a common complaint among women, usually develops gradually over many years so many people don’t even realize that they have a bunion until symptoms start to appear. While a bunion will not go away without surgery, the good news is that a podiatrist is usually all you need to manage your symptoms without resorting to surgery. Here are some ways to effectively manage your bunions:
  • Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling
  • Ice the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day to also alleviate pain and swelling (conversely, you may choose to soak your bunion in warm water to ease symptoms)
  • Consider getting prescription orthotics (shoe inserts) to place within your shoes to take the pressure off the deformed joint and to reduce pain with walking or standing
  • Wear a night splint, which will straighten out the big toe while you sleep to reduce morning pain and stiffness
  • Only wear shoes that have a wide toe box that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion. Avoid high heels and shoes with pointed toes.
  • Perform stretching exercises every day to alleviate stiffness and to improve mobility and range of motion within the feet
  • Apply a non-medicated pad over the bunion before putting on shoes to prevent friction and the formation of a callus
Conservative treatment is typically the first course of action when treating a bunion. A patient will go through this home care plan to see if it alleviates their symptoms; however, if symptoms persist or get worse then it’s time to see your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will be able to examine the bunion to determine the severity and to create a treatment plan that will help you manage your pain.

Should I consider bunion surgery?
Most patients won’t require bunion surgery to manage their symptoms; however, if your bunion pain is severe, the deformity is large, or if conservative and nonsurgical care isn’t helping you manage your symptoms then it may be time to talk with your podiatrist about whether or not you should get bunion surgery.

Worried that you might be dealing with a bunion? Experiencing regular bunion pain? If so, a foot and ankle professional can assess the problem and provide you with a customized treatment plan to help you get your bunion pain under control.

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