Bunions Specialist

Gerald Austin, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in San Jose, CA

If you notice a bony, painful bump near your big toe, it could be a bunion. Bunions are easy to treat in their early stages, but when left untreated, they can cause significant pain and deformity in your feet. At his office in San Jose, California, experienced podiatrist Gerald D. Austin, DPM, can help with early-stage bunions and correct advanced bunions. To learn more about your treatment options for bunions, schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.

Bunions Q&A

What are bunions?

A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe. If you have a bunion, the area may be:

  • Painful
  • Tender
  • Swollen
  • Red 

These symptoms are usually worse when you’re wearing shoes, walking, or otherwise putting pressure on the bump.

Normally, your big toe points straight ahead. Bunions develop when your big toe instead points inward and presses against your second toe. Eventually, your big toe joint starts to stick out, forming a noticeable bump where the toe connects to your foot.

At first, bunions may cause only minor discomfort, and you may just think of it as a cosmetic issue. Without intervention, however, bunions usually get worse over time. Advanced bunions can cause constant pain and make walking and wearing shoes difficult.

What causes bunions?

You usually get bunions because of both your footwear and your genes. Usually, when you develop bunions, tight-fitting shoes are a culprit. If you have flatfeet or your big toe naturally points inward, you’re at higher risk of developing bunions.

Not everyone with flat feet or an inward-pointing big toe develops bunions. Usually, your footwear also plays a role. If you wear shoes that crowd your toes, you’re at a greater risk.

Bunions affect women more often than men, but not for biological reasons. Rather, women’s shoe styles, like high heels and stilettos, are designed for fashion rather than comfort and cram your toes. However, any shoes can contribute to bunions if they’re too small or narrow for your feet.

What is the treatment for bunions?

Be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Austin as soon as you notice signs of a bunion. Early-stage bunions are the easiest to treat and get worse over time without intervention.

You may be able to treat your bunion by changing your shoes. Dr. Austin can recommend comfortable, supportive shoes that leave enough room for your toes. 

You may also benefit from orthotics, which can keep your toes in the correct position and reduce pressure on the bunion. 

If you’re in significant pain, having trouble walking or wearing shoes, or if your bunion doesn’t improve after changing your footwear, you may need minimally invasive surgery to correct the bunion. This outpatient procedure fixes the alignment of your feet.

Don’t wait until a bunion is urgent to get treatment. Schedule an appointment with Gerald D. Austin, DPM, online or over the phone today.