Southern Vermont Podiatry

Your Foot & Ankle Specialists
(802) 254-0202

A bunion is an enlargement of boney growth or swollen tissue typically located at the base joint of the big toe. The condition is caused by the shifting of the bones in the big toe inward, toward the other toes of the foot. The area around the base of the big toe may become inflamed, red, and painful.

Genetic factors are important in the formation of bunions – people who get bunions are usually genetically predisposed to this bone displacement and may cause its onset by wearing ill-fitting shoes or by running or walking in a way that causes stress to the feet. Another common cause for bunions is wearing high heeled shoes. The weight of the body in these shoes pushes the toes into an unnatural position, possibly causing bone displacement.

A podiatrist who specializes in foot structure and biomechanics can quickly diagnose bunions. Bunions must be distinguished from gout or arthritic conditions, so blood tests may be necessary. The podiatrist may order a radiological exam to provide an image of the bone structure. If the x-ray demonstrates an enlargement of the joint near the base of the toe and a shifting toward the smaller toes, this is indicative of a bunion.

Wearing wider shoes can remove the pressure on the bunion and reduce pain. High heeled shoes should be eliminated for a period of time as this type of shoe generally pushes the big toe outward toward the smaller toes. This may be enough to eliminate the pain associated with bunions; however, if pain persists, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed. Severe pain may require an injection of steroids near the bunion.

Orthotics for shoes may be prescribed which, by altering the pressure on the foot, can be helpful in reducing pain. These do not correct the problem, but by eliminating the pain, they can provide relief.

Contact Information

Southern Vermont Podiatry
382 Canal Street
Brattleboro, Vermont 05301

Phone: (802) 254-0202
Business Hours:
Monday - Friday: 8am - 4pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 8am - 5pm

Satellite office: 
Grace Cottage Hospital - Thursday. 
Appointments are made through main office.

Most Insurances Accepted

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