Premier Podiatry

Board Certified Podiatrist Foot & Ankle Surgeon located in Normal, IL, Pontiac, IL, & Bloomington, IL

Bunions are a common foot problem, affecting about 23% of all adults, with women being at least eight times more likely to develop the problem than men. If you have a bunion, early treatment can prevent it from worsening. Board-certified podiatrist Dr. Scott O’Connor has extensive experience helping patients in Normal, Pontiac, and Bloomington, Illinois, with bunions at Premier Podiatry. He often starts with conservative treatment, but you can rely on his surgical expertise if needed. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call the nearest of the three Premier Podiatry offices today.

Bunion Q & A

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a foot deformity that occurs when the bones of your big toe are forced out of their normal position. Bunions develop over time as ongoing pressure pushes the top of your big toe toward the second toe.

As the tip of the big toe bends inward, the joint at the base of the toe is pushed outward, protruding to create a bump of bulging bone on the side of your foot.

When a bunion isn’t properly treated, the toe’s structure gradually changes. Additionally, the joint at the base of your toe may become inflamed, and you can develop bursitis.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

The obvious symptom of a bunion is the large bump on the side of your foot. You may also experience other symptoms such as:

  • Pain when the bunion rubs against shoes
  • Swelling and redness
  • Burning or numbness
  • Limited toe movement
  • Calluses on the bottom of your foot

What causes bunions?

Bunions develop in response to an abnormal foot structure, although poorly fitting shoes can hasten or exacerbate the problem.

Women are especially at risk — they’re eight times more likely than men to develop bunions — because of footwear choices. Your risk of developing a bunion is higher if you wear:

  • Shoes with pointed toes
  • Shoes that are too narrow
  • High-heeled shoes

How are bunions treated?

Without proper treatment, bunions continue to worsen over time. Following a thorough examination, Dr. O’Connor recommends customized treatment designed to relieve your pain and stop deformity progression. Your treatment may include:


Making appropriate changes to your shoes such as:

  • Padding to eliminate pressure and alleviate pain
  • Prescription orthotic inserts to stabilize the toe joint
  • Switching to shoes with extra width
  • Prescription shoes to accommodate your bunion

Other conservative treatments

Dr. O’Connor may prescribe a splint to wear while you sleep that realigns the toe, or recommend corticosteroid injections to relieve inflammation and pain. You may also need exercise to improve toe movement.


If you continue to have pain despite conservative therapies, Dr. O’Connor may recommend surgery to remove the bunion, realign the toe, and repair bones or soft tissues.

Expert treatment for bunions is available at Premier Podiatry. Call the nearest office in Normal, Pontiac, or Eureka, Illinois, or use online booking to schedule an appointment today.