Bunion Surgery & Bunion Pain

Bunion Surgery and Treatment Options

Mild Bunion

A bunion deformity, or bunions if you have one on each foot, are among the commonest problems our Northwest Indiana podiatrists treat — whether with bunion surgery or other ways. Our friendly, award-winning podiatry office (“Best Podiatrist” award and “Best of the Region” award ten times!) routinely provides conservative treatment and surgery for people of all ages who have a painful bunion. Read patient reviews by clicking here.

Incidentally, Dr. Nirenberg or “Dr. Mike” as patients call him, has helped law enforcement, including the FBI, on homicide cases involving foot-related evidence (such as footprints) and gait analysis. His foot and ankle expertise has been sought by numerous media, including USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, WBBM radio and FOX News (click here to read more news).To read Dr. Nirenberg’s CV click here.

Simply put, a bunion is a “bump” or protrusion of bone on the inside of the big toe joint and may be considered a form of arthritis of the big toe joint. In medical-speak a bunion is called hallux abductovalgus or simply hallux valgus. A bunion can occur in children, teenagers, adults and the elderly.

Bunions are unsightly and often painful and bunion deformities usually worsen with time (so the sooner a bunion is treated often the better). Correcting a bunion with surgery is a common option that many people choose for their bunion, but not the only way to alleviate bunion pain. Bunion removal surgery is one option for painful, unsightly bunions, however, other treatments are available.

Commonly, as a bunion forms at the big toe joint the big toe moves abnormally toward the second toe. The larger the bunion or the larger the bump on the inside of the foot becomes the more the big toe joint tilts toward the second toe. As the big toe joint becomes misaligned more deterioration and arthritis of the big toe joint will occur.

In advanced bunion cases (severe bunion deformity), the big toe or great toe can move so far toward the second toe that the second toe actually will rest on top of the great toe.

Our foot doctors have seen people with such severe bunion deformities that the patients needed to cut open their shoes to make “room” for the bunion.

Worse than forcing people to wear larger and wider shoes, bunions prevent the big toe joint from working normally. Over time, a bunion causes malfunction of the big toe joint and can cause numerous painful problems, the most serious is destruction of the joint’s cartilage. Cartilage is the flexible, elastic material that allows the joint to move smoothly (it is the shiny white material that you may see on the ends of chicken bones).

Other serious problems bunions can cause include pain, inflammation, arthritis, loss of motion, abnormal motion and even the inability to walk normally.

Additionally, our Northwest Indiana podiatrist office treats people with bunions from all over Lake and Porter County, including Valparaiso, Crown Point, Schererville, Dyer, Gary, Merrillville, Schererville, Griffith, Portage, Lowell, St. John, Schererville, Highland, Chesterton, Cedar Lake, Wheatfield, Hammond, Munster, Hobart, Lafayette, Michigan City, East Chicago and Valparaiso, and also Chicago! Call us today or make an appointment now – CLICK HERE!


Treatment Options for Bunions – Including Lapiplasty Bunion Surgery

Our podiatrists use a variety of treatments — including the Lapidplasty bunion correction surgery — to alleviate bunion pain and deformities on patients within Northwest Indiana and around the country. Our Lapiplasty surgeon is Dr. Nirenberg. Dr. Nirenberg has had training in the Lapiplasty surgery for bunion correction. While Lapiplasty surgery may be best for you, there are many procedures and treatment options for painful bunions. These bunion treatments can range from prescribing medication to correcting the foot’s abnormal motion (often with orthotics) to performing a short outpatient procedure to remove the bunion. Sometimes bunion pain can be alleviated with an injection of cortisone. Cortisone shots can be given by our podiatrists in the office. Cortisone shots or cortisone injections act to reduce the bunion pain by lessening the inflammation of the bunion.  


Conservative Treatment of Bunions

Since bunions are bone deformities, conservative measures will not remove the bunions but they can give you relief from pain.

Our podiatrists often prescribe custom made orthotics. Foot orthotics are arch supports specifically fabricated for your feet that limit abnormal motion and lessen pain. In addition, to providing relief from pain, orthotics slow or even stop bunions from worsening.

Other treatments include topical prescription medications that can reduce inflammation and pain, and in severe cases oral anti-inflammatories. In some cases, the doctors may inject the bunion with cortisone or other medicines. A cortisone injection will not “cure” a bunion or make it go away but it might alleviate the pain and possibly delay the need for surgery.

On your own, you can do several things for relief from a painful bunion. These measures include wearing wider shoes, padding the bunion, massage and if you do not have diabetes, circulation or nerve issues and your doctor says these are safe for you, then you can try using ice or soaking in luke warm water and Epsom salts. (Always, talk to your doctor before treating any medical issues yourself.)


Bunion Surgery

foot surgery ankle surgeryBunion surgery or bunion removal may be necessary for your bunion or bunions. For many patients, removing the painful bunion or bunions with surgery is the best solution. Bunion surgery or bunion removal has become highly advanced in recent years.

Our foot doctors use a variety of technology and techniques for bunion surgery. Every bunion, like every patient, is different and the exact method used depends on the severity of the bunion, the patient’s health, the overall biomechanics of the patient’s foot and other factors.

One of the things our podiatrists usually do when performing bunion surgery that not every foot surgeon does (but probably should!) is to address a muscle in the foot that contributes to a bunion developing in the first place. This muscle acts to pull the big toe toward the second toe. By surgically addressing this muscle while removing the bunion, there is much less chance of the bunion ever coming back. At our office, it is not just about performing a bunion removal surgery but taking measures to reduce the chance of the bunion coming back!


Innovative Bunion Surgery Techniques – Including the Lapiplasty Bunion Surgery

Our Northwest Indiana surgeons may use one of the following innovative techniques, such as the Lapiplasty bunion correction, or a combination of these bunion surgery correction methods to remove your bunion. The surgeon will discuss bunion surgery techniques that he expects to use to correct your bunion; however, it will be during the actual surgery, when he sees the extent of deterioration inside your big toe joint that he will make a final decision on the best technique to use.

Lapiplasty bunion surgery is one of the more recent developments in bunion surgery correction. Lapiplasty may be the best choice for some people with a painful bunion, however, it is not necessarily the best surgery procedure for bunion correction for everyone. Dr. Nirenberg is a trained Lapiplasty surgeon. 


Common bunion correction surgery techniques used, include:

  • Swiss Technique for Bunion Surgery
  • Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery Technique or “Tiny Incision” Bunion Surgery
  • Implant Replacement Bunion Surgery
  • Lapiplasty Bunion Correction Surgery Procedure (Dr. Nirenberg is our Lapiplasty surgeon)
  • Joint or Midfoot Fusion Bunion Surgery
  • Osteotomy Bunion Surgery

Nearly all of our bunion surgery patients have the procedure done on an out-patient basis. Typically, you will arrive at a nearby surgical center or hospital about 90 minutes before the surgery. Often the procedure usually takes around 45-90 minutes and you go home about an hour later. Though, some bunion procedures and depending on the complexity of the bunion deformity and your overall foot structure, some bunion surgery procedures may take longer to perform and may take longer to heal. 

Most of our patients can walk immediately after bunion surgery but you must limit your walking at first to just a few minutes every hour and you need to wear a special “surgery” shoe. Some bunion surgery procedures, such as the Lapiplasty or other procedures, require patients to initially keep the weight off their foot for a period of time and the Lapiplasty bunion procedure may not be suitable for all patients. 

It should be noted that bunion (and Lapiplasty) surgery is not without risks. Bunion (and Lapiplasty) surgery is not suitable for everyone. The most common risk is developing an infection. To lessen the chance of infection, our bunion surgeons will often give you antibiotics on the day of your surgery and they will prescribe a course of oral antibiotics to take afterwards. Be aware that no surgery or treatment is not without risks and results vary. 

Lapiplasty bunion surgery is performed by our Lapiplasty surgeon, Dr. Nirenberg. To see if a Lapiplasty surgery is best for your bunion, make an appointment with us to evaluate your bunion. 

To make an appointment to have your bunion evaluated by our award-winning podiatry office, please call us today at (219)663-2273 or make an appointment online by clicking here now.


Pain in Big Toe or Pain in the Great Toe – Hallux Limitus & Hallux Rigidus

Closely related to a bunion is pain or arthritis of big toe or great toe of the foot. Arthritis of the great toe is painful and may reduce the ability of you to bend the big toe when walking. The big toe or great toe may have pain when you press on the big toe joint or try to move the joint upward or downward.

Arthritis of the big toe joint can be very painful when trying to walk or stand or even when you are resting. The big toe joint may even swell or become red or swollen.

The big toe joint may begin to deteriorate from the arthritis in the joint. As the big toe pain or swelling worsens, you may even develop loose pieces of broken bone in the big toe joint — an actual fracture in the big toe joint. These fractured pieces of broken bone can be very painful and cause the joint to become swollen or red. Big toe joint pain or arthritis of the big toe joint is a common problem for our podiatrists.There are both conservative (non surgical) and surgical methods to alleviate pain, swelling or arthritis in the big toe joint of the foot.

Big toe joint pain can be due to other reasons, such as infection (and diabetic infection), gout, fracture, tumor, nerve entrapment (or pinched nerve), and tendon issues.

Arthritis of the big toe joint or pain in the big toe is treated by our Northwest Indiana podiatrists with conservative or surgical methods. Depending on the severity of the arthritis and pain in the big toe joint, the arthritis pain may be treated by our foot doctors with medications, injections, custom made foot orthotics (foot orthotics or custom arch supports)or surgery. If surgery is needed for arthritis of the big toe joint or great toe, the surgery is often done on an out-patient basis and patients return home the same day.


Second Opinion Requests and Revision Bunion Surgery

Persons who have undergone bunion surgery by another foot surgeon and developed complications or are simply unhappy with their result will see our doctors for a second opinion. In some cases, the patient’s foot surgeon will refer these patients to our doctors or these patients may come to us on their own for a second opinion.

Revision bunion surgery is often challenging, however, our foot doctors relish puzzling out what caused the bunion surgery problem in the first place and enjoy figuring out a good solution.

Our podiatrists treat bunion and big toe problems for all of Northwest Indiana residents, including Merrillville, Schererville, Valparaiso, Dyer, Portage, Dyer, Highland, St. John, Griffith, Lowell, Wheatfield, Gary, Rensselaer, Cedar Lake, Hammond, Munster, Kouts, Hobart, Lafayette, East Chicago and Chesterton. To discuss your big toe problem or bunion please make an appointment to see us.

To make an appointment to have your bunion evaluated by our award-winning podiatry office, please call us today at (219)663-2273 or make an appointment online by clicking here now.


Tailor’s Bunion Surgery, Bunionette Surgery or Mini-Bunion Surgery

Tailor’s bunion pain is due to a mini-bunion or small bump or bunion that forms on the outside of the foot. Tailor bunion surgery is quite advanced and our Northwest Indiana podiatrist can remove a Tailor bunion or mini-bunion on an outpatient basis. A Tailor’s bunion is also called a bunionette or mini-bunion or simply a painful bump on the outside of the foot.

Bunionette’s or a Tailor bunion can be painful and unsightly. Some people have both a bunion and a tailor bunion (bunionette) at the same time. Tailor’s bunion pain results from an arthritic growth of bone or a bump of bone that forms on the side of the foot, just before the baby toe. A bunionette or tailor bunion may be aggravated by shoes.

Some people with a painful Tailor bunion or bunionette will have soreness, redness and swelling. Tailor bunion surgery or bunionette surgery is not for everyone. Our podiatrist will evaluate your tailor bunion to see if tailor bunion surgery is right for you.

Incidentally, a Tailor bunion or a bunionette can form on one or both feet. Usually, Tailor bunion surgery or bunionette surgery will be done by our podiatrist on one foot at a time so you can have a “good” foot to walk on. Tailor bunion surgery or bunionette surgery is done with you asleep under anesthesia usually, though you can opt to be awake.


Final Thoughts on Bunions and Bunion Surgery

Bunions are one of the most common foot problems our doctors treat. The doctors use a variety of treatments and medications to lessen bunion pain, and many advanced techniques to remove them when surgery for a bunion is required. If you have a bunion it is unlikely to go away on its own, and more likely, the bunion will worsen. If you are looking for relief from a painful bunion, please call us today.


Low-Cost, Affordable Cash Price Option and Payment Plans for Bunion Surgery

If you do not have insurance or you are under-insured, or you have a high deductible and wish to pay cash, we will work with you! We understand that not everyone has insurance and we offer affordable, reduced fee, low-cost cash pricing for bunion surgery.

Our bunion surgery fee for patients paying cash is reasonable (as are our payment plans) and we are connected with an accredited surgery center that will work with you to keep the cost of your bunion surgery affordable. If you are looking to be rid of your bunion and need bunion surgery at a low-cost, affordable cash price, please call our insurance/billing department today at (219)663-2273.


Our award winning podiatry practice treats bunion problems for people throughout Northwest Indiana, including Michigan City, Merrillville, Winfield, Schererville, Valparaiso, Dyer, Portage, Gary, Dyer, Highland, St. John, Griffith, Lowell, Wheatfield, DeMotte, Rensselaer, Cedar Lake, Hammond, Munster, Kouts, Hobart, Lafayette, East Chicago and Chesterton. If you have any questions about bunions please make an appointment to see one of our physicians or send us an email.

To schedule your first visit, call us today at (219)663-2273

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