Treatment of bunions depends on the severity of growth and pain.


Bunions—also known as hallux valgus—are bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe, typically forcing the big toe to point toward the second toe. Smaller bunions (known as bunionettes or Tailor’s bunions) can develop on the joint of the little toe, as well.


While bunions don’t typically cause problems, some potential complications may include:

  • Bursitis: A condition in which fluid-filled pads that cushion the bone, muscles and tendons near the joints (bursae) become painfully inflamed
  • Hammertoe: Hammertoe is a term used to describe a group of bone deformities in one of the toes that causes them to bend abnormally
  • Metatarsalgia: Inflammation and pain in the ball of the foot
What Causes Bunions?

While the exact cause of bunion development is unknown, factors may include:

  • Congenital deformity (meaning the patient is born with it)
  • Inherited foot type
  • Injury to the foot
  • Types of inflammatory arthritis (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis)

There is disagreement among experts whether or not tight, narrow or high-heeled shoes may also contribute to the formation of bunions.

What Are Bunion Treatments?

Treatment of bunions depends on the severity of growth and pain. However, nonsurgical treatments usually relieve pain and pressure, and they include:

  • Adding padded inserts to the inside of shoes
  • Applying ice to relieve inflammation and pain
  • Putting over-the-counter pads on the bunion or taping the foot into a normal position
  • Receiving cortisone injections
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers (e.g., Advil®, Tylenol®)
  • Wearing comfortable shoes with spare room in them

Should these treatment modalities fail and pain interferes with everyday activity, surgery may be an option to remove the bunion (bunionectomy). Surgical options include:

  • Osteotomy: The bones around the big toe joint are precisely cut, and the toe is realigned into its normal position
  • Exostectomy: Removal of the bunion from the joint with or without realigning the toe by balancing the soft tissues
  • Arthrodesis: Fusing the damaged joint with metal plates or screws to fix the deformity
  • Arthroplasty: An operative restoration of a joint that could involve a total replacement
  • Scarf bunionectomy: A more advanced version of a standard bunionectomy deigned to treat severe cases of bunions.
EUP: The Place for Bunion Treatment

Essex Union Podiatry (EUP) is a complete foot and ankle practice, serving the podiatric needs of Essex and Union Counties. Our specialty-trained physicians utilize the latest techniques and tools to diagnose, treat and provide preventative care for all foot and ankle conditions. With an emphasis on patient education, our practice offers quality care by creating an informative and personalized treatment plan tailored to meet individual needs. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our bunion specialists, contact Essex Union Podiatry today.

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Meet Our Doctors

The physicians of Essex Union Podiatry are experienced and dedicated professionals trained in various subspecialties of podiatry care. Click on the pictures below to learn more about our doctors.

Jason P. Galante, DPM,

Jason Galante, DPM, AASPS

Nancy A. Kaplan, DPM, MBA, AACHE, FACFAS


Sarah E. Haller, DPM, AACFAS