Researchers estimate that up to one in three Americans have bunions. Though common, bunions can affect your mobility and quality of life if left untreated. At Alpine Foot & Ankle, double board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Scott Shelton, DPM, provides complete care for bunions, including surgery with Lapiplasty® 3D bunion correction. To make an appointment, call the office in Highland, Utah, or book online today.

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What are bunions?

A bunion is a hard, swollen bump that forms on the outside edge of your big toe. Bunions occur when the bones at the front of your foot move out of position due to an abnormal gait (walk pattern) or general wear-and-tear. Over time, that movement causes the joint at the base of your big toe to bulge outward, causing pain and sensitivity.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

Symptoms of bunions include:

  • Difficulty bending or wiggling your big toe
  • Difficulty wearing regular tennis shoes
  • Corns, calluses, or blisters on the top of your big toe
  • Hammertoes

As the bunion grows, you might also experience tingling or numbness in your big toe.

When should I see a foot and ankle surgeon about bunions?

Make an appointment with Dr. Shelton at Alpine Foot & Ankle if you have a noticeable bump on the outside edge of the base of your big toe and it’s red, swollen, or sensitive. That’s especially true if the bump interferes with your ability to work, exercise, or perform other activities

How are bunions diagnosed?

At Alpine Foot & Ankle, Dr. Shelton diagnoses bunions during an in-office visit.

Dr. Shelton reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including when the pain started, if it’s getting worse, and if it responds to at-home treatment, like wearing supportive shoes or applying ice.

Next, Dr. Shelton examines your feet and toes, looking for redness, swelling, or a noticeable bump on the outside edge of your big toe. He also has you walk around the exam room to observe your gait. Most bunions are visible, but Dr. Shelton might also order X-rays or a CT scan to assess the position of the bones at the front of your foot.

How are bunions treated?

Treatment of bunions depends on several factors, including the size of the bunion and the severity of your symptoms. Dr. Shelton might recommend:

  • Bunion pads and taping
  • Wearing comfortable shoes with a wide toe box
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotics

If your symptoms fail to improve or worsen, Dr. Shelton might recommend surgery with Lapiplasty 3D bunion correction. Lapiplasty® uses patented technology to treat not only the bunion but also the underlying root cause. It’s minimally invasive and provides lasting results.

To learn more about bunion treatment options, make an appointment at Alpine Foot & Ankle by calling the office or booking online today.