Our Services / Bunions

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Researchers estimate that 1 in 3 Americans has a bunion. If you regularly experience pain or swelling around your big toe, and it doesn’t respond to at-home treatment, don’t wait to seek professional help. At Lake Washington Foot and Ankle Clinic, board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Vinai Prakash, DPM, regularly diagnoses and treats bunions. Dr. Prakash works with you to develop a custom care plan that aligns with your needs. To make an appointment in Kenmore, Washington, call the office or book online today.

What are bunions?

A bunion is a painful bump at the base of your big toe. They form on the outside edge of the joint at the base of your largest toe. 

Bunions occur when the bones at the front of your foot change position because of an injury or a structural abnormality (like flat feet). These changes cause the joint at the base of your big toe to bulge outward, which can affect your mobility and quality of life.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

Symptoms of bunions include:

  • Swelling or redness around your big toe joint
  • A bulging bump on the outside edge of your big toe
  • Persistent toe pain
  • Limited toe movement

Over time, you might also notice that your toe has corns or calluses (areas of thickened skin caused by your toes rubbing up against your shoes or socks).

When should I visit a podiatrist about bunions?

Make an appointment at Lake Washington Foot and Ankle Clinic if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Toe pain that doesn’t respond to conservative treatment
  • Decreased mobility of your toe or foot
  • Difficulty finding shoes that fit
  • Pain or swelling that affects your ability to work or exercise

After an exam and a discussion of your symptoms, Dr. Prakash develops a treatment plan that helps you feel better.

How are bunions diagnosed?

To diagnose a bunion, Dr. Prakash asks about your symptoms, including when the pain started, if it extends to other areas of your body, and if it’s worse during certain activities. Next, he has you remove your shoes and socks for a foot examination.

It’s possible to diagnose a bunion through visual observation, but Dr. Prakash might also order X-rays to determine how to treat it.

How are bunions treated?

Treatment for bunions depends on various factors, including the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your mobility. Typically, Dr. Prakash recommends conservative treatments, like wearing more comfortable shoes, applying ice, and taking anti-inflammatory medication. You might also benefit from inserts or custom orthotics.

Dr. Prakash might recommend surgical management if conservative treatments don’t provide lasting relief. During bunion surgery, Dr. Prakash uses special tools to straighten the bones at the front of your foot. This process can eliminate the bunion, relieve the pain, and restore mobility.

To learn more about the various treatment options for bunions, make an appointment at Lake Washington Foot and Ankle Clinic by calling the office or clicking the online booking feature today.