Podiatrist Blog

Posts for tag: Bunions

By Providence Foot Health Center
August 19, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

If you have a bunion, you probably want to know more about this condition. Below are the most frequently asked questions that Dr. James Mintzer and his team get about bunions at Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC. Bunions are a frequent cause of foot pain that we care for and can help guide you on the best treatment strategy.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion starts with the dislocation of your big toe joint. In most cases, this causes the appearance of a bump, or protrusion, on your big toe joint. This protrusion is generally located at the base of the big tie on the inside of your foot. The dislocation of the joint causes the big toe to point toward the smaller toes. A severe case can develop a condition known as crossover toe where the big toe displaces enough that it lays on top of the second toe.

What Causes Bunions?

The dislocation of the big toe joint is the result of poor foot mechanics, anatomically deformed or misshapen feet. Barring congenital defects in the feet, generally, the dislocation comes from years of excessive stress placed on the feet and toes. Many people mistakenly think that ill-fitting shoes are to blame. Wearing shoes that don't fit well can lead to the worsening of a bunion, but it's not the cause of bunion developing initially. 

What Are the Symptoms?

The physical deformity of a bony protrusion, or bump, that develops inside your foot is not the only symptom of a bunion. Other symptoms can accompany a bunion, such as:

  • Corns and callouses
  • Pain when straightening the toe
  • Inability to wear regular shoes
  • Numbness in the big toe

How Is It Treated?

The most commonly recommended treatment strategy is surgery to remove the bunion. This procedure is called bunionectomy and will correct the anatomy of the foot. While surgical intervention will likely be needed for your bunion in Washington, DC, there are conservative, non-surgical steps that you and your podiatrist can take to manage bunions.

Can I Do Anything To Delay the Need for Surgery?

The list below may stop or slow down the progression of a bunion. Some suggestions from our podiatrist are:

  • Always wear shoes that are roomy in the toe area. 
  • Go shoe shopping in the evening, as our feet slightly swell in the later hours of the day. 
  • Have your feet measured every time you buy new shoes. Our feet flatten with age and this may require buying a larger-sized shoe.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Wear custom orthotics in your shoes.
  • Both prescription and OTC anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication

Contact Us

If you have a question that wasn't answered above, don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mintzer at Providence Foot Health Center. We will answer any further questions you have about bunions in Washington, DC. You can reach us by calling (202) 269-4062.

By Providence Foot Health Center
August 01, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

Find out how to get your bunion pain under control and when to see a podiatrist.

A bunion is a painful foot deformity that warrants turning to a podiatrist to learn how to manage your pain and slow the deformity’s progression. If you suspect you might have a bunion, but you’ve never actually found out, it’s time to turn to a podiatrist to learn more. In the meantime, here’s what you should know about bunion pain and ways to manage it.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is a deformity of the big toe’s joint that causes a large, bony bump to stick out at the edge of the foot at the base of the toe. The bump may become swollen, red or painful, especially when wearing certain shoes.

What Are Some Ways That I Can Manage My Symptoms?

There are ways to slow a bunion’s progress enough that you may never need surgery. If your symptoms are minor, changing your shoes will make a world of difference. Opt for shoes with a wide toe box, don’t put pressure on the bunion, and have a low heel.

Shoes should also provide proper support, and remember—shoes don’t last forever. We know it’s tough to part with them, but if your shoes are worn out, they aren’t giving your feet the stability they need.

Other ways to reduce bunion pain and take pressure off the deformed joint is to,

  • Maintain a healthy weight (or lose excess weight)
  • Apply a non-medicated bunion pad over the joint before wearing shoes
  • Consider using custom orthotics or night splints (talk with your podiatrist first)
  • Take NSAID pain relievers when necessary to ease bouts of achiness and throbbing pain
  • Apply ice packs to the area or take warm soaks to ease symptoms
  • Consider getting regular massages to help boost blood flow

Can I Get Rid of a Bunion?

The simple answer is “yes”. You can get rid of a bunion but only through surgery. Of course, while surgery is usually the last treatment option to consider, this doesn’t necessarily mean that surgery isn’t the right choice for you. You may be a good candidate for bunion surgery if,

  • Your bunion doesn’t respond to home treatment
  • Bunion pain is severe and chronic
  • Your bunion affects your daily routine and quality of life

Don’t let bunion pain impact your life and daily routine. A podiatrist can map out a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and activities to help you better control your pain and get back to what you love doing.

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.

Contact Us

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