Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

Torrance Foot & Ankle Specialist

A bunion occurs when the big toe angles inward toward the other toes and a bump develops on the joint connecting the big toe to the foot. This malalignment, known as hallux valgus, can cause redness, inflammation, tenderness, and pain in the joint.

Bunions have been found to occur in families, but they are most often caused by wearing tight shoes, particularly shoes that are too tight over the toes. Over a third of American women have bunions, which often results from wearing narrow, tight shoes and high heels.

People with bunions can experience significant pain that can be exacerbated when wearing shoes. In many cases, bunions can greatly interfere with a person’s ability to walk and live an active lifestyle. Our board certified specialists at Torrance Memorial Physician Network provide the experienced care patients need to address bunions and find relief from painful and restricting symptoms.

Bunion Treatment

While prevention through properly fitting shoes is the best method for avoiding painful bunion symptoms, the condition can be treated and pain effectively managed without surgery in most cases.

For nonsurgical management, our specialists focus on:

  • Shoe modifications – Shoes with wide toe boxes, sandals, and other footwear that provides room for the toes can help relieve pressure and provide relief from irritation and soreness. Shoe stretching and protective pads for cushioning can also provide relief. However, shoe modifications do not address the underlying malalignment in the toe joint.
  • Splints – Bunion splints, typically worn during night, can offer further relief from bunion symptoms and pain. Custom insoles may also provide additional support and repositioning, depending on the structure of the foot.

Bunions can progressively worsen, and some patients with moderate to severe bunions may still experience pain and have difficulty walking even when accommodative shoes are worn. When this is the case, a surgical approach may be necessary to correct the bunion and toe positioning.

For surgical management, our specialists focus on:

  • Surgery is used to relieve persistent pain and improve function by correcting the bunion deformity. Surgical procedures will involve removal of the bony growth of the bunion and realign bones, ligaments, and/or tendons so that the big toe and joint are correctly positioned.

Because foot structures and bunions can vary from patient to patient, there are different surgical approaches that can be taken to correct a bunion.

Learn More About Our Personalized Care

Our physicians are committed to customizing care to every patient. Given the varied treatment approaches that can be used to correct a bunion, we focus on personalized evaluations and tailored treatment that addresses the specific needs of a patient. We invite you to learn more about your condition and how we can help by requesting an appointment today.