A large percentage of our population may develop a bunion. Both men and women can develop bunions, although it appears that bunions are more commonly seen on women's feet. A bunion is a swelling or enlargement of the large toe joint on the inner side of the foot. The deformity usually develops gradually but continuously and this will cause pain from shoes rubbing against the enlarged bone. There may be swelling, redness and deep aching pain associated with the bunion joint, causing a bursitis.


For the most part, bunions are hereditary. We inherit the type of bone structure in our feet that tends to cause bunions. Specifically, bunions develop from a weakness in the bone structure of your foot. Because of the instability of the bones and ligaments which form the various joints, some joints have a tendency to move out of proper alignment. This is especially true in the weight-bearing joints of the feet, ankles, knees, and hips. Therefore, we will sometimes see the development of bunion deformities even in young children as well as the adult population.

Bunions are not caused by improper shoegear, but are significantly aggravated by improperly fitting shoes which place an unusual degree of pressure at the bunion joint. As bunions become more severe, the joint moves out of proper alignment and eventually arthritis will damage the joint space. The large toe will move sideways towards the 2nd toe and the foot tends to widen. Again, remember that shoes do not usually cause the bunions but they aggravate the condition and speed up the development of a more serious and significant deformity.


Over the years, there have been many remedies for bunions, including exercises, pads, slings to hold the big toe straight, and night-time bunion splints. Universally, these measures have not been successful in straightening out the deformity, although special pads can help to temporarily relieve pain and pressure inside the shoe.


As a rule, bunion deformities should be recognized early and evaluated by your Podiatrist. We evaluate not only the bunion deformity itself, but also the underlying weakness in the structure of your foot. We take X-rays to evaluate the bone structure of your feet. This will also help to determine if there are other problems in the foot which require attention.

Initial non-surgical treatment may range from an alteration in shoes (such as width and shape of the toe area), to custom-made prescription orthotics to place into your shoes to stabilize the weakness in the bone structure, and improve the conditioning of the foot. If made while a bunion deformity is only mild, these prescription orthotics will, in 75% of cases, prevent the bunion from becoming worse. However, orthotics can never reverse the bunion deformity and make it smaller. Therefore, orthotics are helpful only in mild cases of bunions.

Additionally, anti-inflammatory oral medication or injections may be necessary during the acute phases of the bunion pain, especially if the skin over the bunion joint is red and inflamed


As bunion deformities progress however, they do become quite bothersome. If the bunion deformity gets larger, surgery may be recommended.


If surgery is recommended, I will perform a thorough evaluation of your circulation, muscle strength, range of motion of the bunion joint and metatarsal bone, as well as alignment of the arch and lesser toes.

I will discuss with you the surgical procedure which is best suited for your particular bunion deformity. There are many different types of bunion surgical procedures now available, all of which are very technologically advanced compared to the bunionectomy procedures of the past, and I will select the procedure that is most suited in your particular case. This is based on physical examination of your foot, X-ray findings, and other factors such as age and activities of the patient. These factors can influence the final outcome so that both the doctor and patient are working as a team for a successful and satisfactory result.


Remarkable advances have been achieved in the past decade with instrumentation and space age technology improving medical and surgical procedures. Additionally, I have a wide range of non-surgical treatments, as well as sophisticated surgical procedures, from which to custom design a treatment program that is best suited to your needs and your particular situation. These treatments and surgical techniques are available thanks to advanced research and scientific study of the various foot deformities. Many of the surgical procedures described in the next brochure can be performed in an out-patient hospital setting. Remember, both you and your doctor are a team working toward a common goal, comfortable feet, so that you can remain active and fit in today's fast-paced lifestyle. My nurse and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning your bunion problem or the various treatments I may recommend to you.


2501 S. Willis
Abilene, TX 79605