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Bunions Specialist

Fair Oaks Podiatry & Sports Medicine

Zakee O. Shabazz, DPM

Podiatrist located in Fairfax, VA

Bunions cause a deformation of the big toe that may be painful occasionally or constantly. Dr. Zakee O. Shabazz, DPM, of Fair Oaks Podiatry & Sports Medicine, in Fairfax, Virginia, determines whether your bunions require treatment. Call today for an appointment to learn more about your foot condition.

Bunions Q & A

What are bunions?

Bunions are bony projections around the joint at the base of the big toe. A similar projection — a bunionette — can form on the little toe on the other side of the foot. In some cases, the bunion carries no pain or complications, while in others, there could be an occasional or constant pain, accompanied by redness and swelling at the joint. Bunions often form an overlap of the first 2 toes, with calluses and corns developing there. Many bunions are trouble-free, but if persistent pain or decreased mobility affects your foot, it’s time to call Dr. Shabazz.

What causes bunions?

The precise causes of bunions are unknown, but risk factors in their development include foot types inherited genetically, injuries to the foot or toe joint, and congenital deformities. There’s no agreement about the role of footwear as a direct or contributing cause of bunions. Tight, narrow, and high-heeled shoes seem to at least aggravate the condition, though they may also be a fundamental cause. Inflammatory conditions of the foot, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout increase the chances that gout may form. Once bunions form, they may not cause any problems, but in extreme cases complications may arise. These include bursitis, hammer toe, and metatarsalgia — an inflammation at the ball of the foot.

How are bunions treated?

Minor cases of pain accompanying bunions may be treated non-surgically. These options include:

  • Changing footwear: Using roomy, comfortable, and low-heeled shoes provides more space for your toes and reduces pressure on a bunion.
  • Shoe inserts: These provide better weight distribution, cushioning, and arch support. Over-the-counter inserts may help mild cases while custom-made orthotics could help more severe conditions.
  • Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen reduce both pain and swelling. Injections of cortisone may also help.
  • Ice packs: These work for incidental treatment of pain and inflammation due to overuse.

Unless a bunion causes significant pain and interferes with your daily life, corrective surgery isn’t usually recommended. It is, however, the only way to permanently correct a bunion.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

At Fair Oaks Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Golden Rule
Great West Health Care
United Healthcare