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Bunions Specialist

Matthew F. Wachtler, DPM -  - Podiatrist

Cedar Grove Foot & Ankle Specialists

Matthew F. Wachtler, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Cedar Grove, NJ

A bunion is a prominent, hard growth at the base of your big toe. As it gets larger, it can become painful and even cause difficulty walking. But Cedar Grove Foot & Ankle Specialists has good news. Experienced podiatrist Matthew Wachtler, DPM, offers everything from conservative bunion correction options to surgical bunion removal to help you walk away from bunion pain. Call the Cedar Grove, New Jersey, office or use the online appointment scheduler for help with bunions.

Bunions Q&A

What’s a bunion?

A bunion is a foot deformity that usually occurs in the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, your largest big toe joint. The first metatarsal bone — the bone immediately in back of your big toe — pushes out abnormally in the area where it connects to your big toe. 

This causes joint enlargement, which forms the bony bump. The phalanx bones in your big toe may also tilt toward your other toes or even overlap your second toe when you have a bunion. You can also develop a bunion on your little toe joint, called a tailor's bunion. 

Bunions are usually quite prominent, and it can be embarrassing to show your feet. Appearance, though, is just one issue with bunions. They can also cause skin irritation when wearing shoes, along with serious foot pain when you're walking or standing. 

Usually, untreated bunions grow bigger and cause even more issues within the foot. For example, a bunion could eventually lead to hammertoes, bursitis, and metatarsalgia. Severe bunions can significantly contribute to poor quality of life if left untreated.

What causes bunions?

Bunions occur because of long-term abnormal movement and strain involving your MTP joint. A few things can lead to these issues, including: 

  • Overly tight shoes, like high heels
  • Inherited foot type
  • Foot trauma
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Congenital foot deformities

Other factors may also contribute to bunion growth, such as working a job that requires long periods of standing and experiencing repetitive foot trauma, such as with ballet dancing. 

What does bunion treatment involve?

At Cedar Grove Foot & Ankle Specialists, Dr. Wachtler starts with gentle, noninvasive bunion treatments. Key components of treatment typically include:

Custom orthotics

Custom orthotics, created specifically for your foot, slide into your shoe and reposition your joint. This can ease pressure and improve function to reduce bunion pain.

Change of shoes

When you have bunions, certain types of shoes can make your symptoms worse. Changing to shoes with a wide toe box and soft upper half can significantly lessen your discomfort. 

Splinting, taping, and padding

Splinting and taping can hold your MTP joint in its proper position, which may help prevent discomfort. Bunion pads can prevent irritation from your bunion rubbing against your shoe. 

Nonsurgical bunion treatments can relieve your pain and improve your foot function, but they may not be enough in some cases. Dr. Wachtler has extensive surgical training and can perform procedures for serious or treatment-resistant bunions where needed.

Embarrassed about your bunion or experiencing serious pain? Call Cedar Grove Foot & Ankle Specialists or schedule online for compassionate treatment.