What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a progressive deformity of the great toe joint. The big toe slowly leans toward the second toe and over time the great toe joint goes out of alignment. The bump on the side of the toe gradually becomes more prominent as the alignment of the forefoot changes.


Bunions are most commonly hereditary in nature. Structural abnormality in mid and rear foot creates instability of the forefoot allowing the bunion to develop. This is commonly seen in people with flat feet. Shoe gear typically will not cause the deformity but it can accelerate the progression of the deformity.

Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoe gear.  Pressure from a tight toe box especially in a high heel shoe can aggravate the condition.

  • Symptoms typically occur at the site of the deformity.
  • Pain over the bump
  • Pain, swelling and redness of the joint.
  • Burning, shooting pain or numbness on the side of the toe.


Wear supportive shoes with good arch support and wide deep toe box.

Preventing excessive flattening of the arch (pronation) with over the counter innersoles and can slow the progression of the deformity. Over pronators have an increased incidence of bunion formation. We often make orthotic devices which are custom shoe inserts to manage excessive rolling an aid in slowing the development of bunion deformity.

Conservative Treatment

  • Change in shoe gear.  Choose shoe with a wider toe box.
  • Shoe stretched over deformity.
  • Padding
    • Silicone padding
    • Bunion spreaders.
  • Arch supports
  • Orthotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Contract baths
  • Modify activities.

Surgical treatment

If conservative treatment fails to alleviate the condition and the pain is changing the way you live surgery would then be an option. There are many types of bunion procedures. The type of procedure will depend on the extent of the deformity, the age of the patient, and ultimate goal of the procedure. Recovery time is dependent on the procedure performed. The majority of bunion procedures involve cutting and repositioning of bone. Bone typically takes at least 6 to 8 weeks to heal. So expect at least a 2 to 3 month recovery time.

*For products related to the conservative care of bunion deformities we recommend footsupplystore.com.

*To make an appointment with one of our physicians to evaluate your bunion deformity please fill out the contact form and we will contact you


I suffered with chronic heel pain for over a year. I finally went to see Dr. Fritz who examined me and performed X-rays on the same visit. He diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis. After a course of physical therapy, a cortisone shot and a pair of custom orthotics I’m able to walk pain free again.

- Jeff C.

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