Bunion Specialist

Fairbanks Foot and Ankle -  - Foot & Ankle Surgeon

Fairbanks Foot and Ankle

Foot & Ankle Surgeons located in Fairbanks, AK

At first, you can hide a bunion with wide shoes, but the condition continues progressing, ultimately causing pain that affects your ability to walk. Dr. Dustin Hubbard and Dr. Ralph Dixon at Fairbanks Foot and Ankle are experts in treating bunions with conservative options, but they also have extensive experience performing corrective surgery. If you have questions about a bunion or your foot health, call the office in Fairbanks, Alaska or book an appointment online.

Bunion Q & A

Fairbanks Foot and Ankle

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a deformity that develops when the bones and joints of your big toe are forced out of their normal position.

The deformity develops gradually, as ongoing pressure pushes against the big toe. As a result, the tip of the toe leans in toward the second toe, and the joint at the base of the toe sticks out, creating a classic protruding bump on the side of your foot.

Bunions continue to worsen without treatment. Over time, the bony structure changes and the joint becomes inflamed and swollen. You may also develop bursitis, which is inflammation of fluid-filled sacs in the affected joint.

In severe cases, the top of the big toe bends so severely that it affects the second toe, making it move out of alignment and push under or over the third toe.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

Your first sign of a bunion is the bony bump at the base of your big toe. Most patients also experience symptoms such as:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling and redness
  • Limited motion of the big toe
  • Difficulty walking
  • Hardened skin on the bottom of your foot

Are you at risk of developing bunions?

Women are more likely to develop bunions, with a risk that’s eight times greater than men. The reason is footwear. You’re at risk for bunions if you:

  • Wear shoes that are narrow or too short
  • Wear shoes with a pointed toe
  • Wear high-heeled shoes
  • Had a previous injury
  • Have flat feet
  • Have an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis

How are bunions treated?

The goal of bunion treatment is to relieve your pain and prevent the deformity from worsening. The doctors at Fairbanks Foot and Ankle may recommend corrective shoe gear or orthotics, so your treatment plan may include:

  • Protective shoe padding to relieve pain
  • Orthotic inserts or devices to stabilize the joint
  • Shoes wide enough to remove pressure
  • Specialized shoes with space for the bunion

You may also benefit from exercises designed to restore movement in the joint. When you still have pain despite conservative treatments, your doctor may perform surgery to correct the deformity.

Scheduling treatment as soon as you notice a bunion can help prevent progression, so call Fairbanks Foot and Ankle or book an appointment online.

Conditions & Treatments