Bunions Specialist

Ankle & Foot Specialists

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Norwood Park, Chicago, IL

About 23% of 18-65-year-olds and 36% of American adults over 65 suffer from bunions. If you have a bony bump on the side of your big toe, it’s likely a bunion that requires prompt treatment. At Ankle & Foot Specialists in Chicago, Illinois, podiatrists James Elipas, DPM, and John Flanagan, DPM, offer both conservative and surgical approaches to ensure you eliminate your bunions permanently. Call the office in Norwood Park or book an appointment online today.


What is a bunion?

Bunions are an enlargement of the joint at the base of your toe, the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. The joint moves out of position to push in on the little toes, potentially forcing the big toe over the little toes. A bunion is a foot deformity because it actually changes the framework of your foot. 

It's common to experience discomfort and even pain as the bunion rubs against your shoe. Your skin can quickly grow red and sore. Your MTP joint flexes with each step you take, causing progressive bunion growth and walking problems. Difficulty walking can contribute to other foot problems, such as hammertoe, corns, and calluses.

What causes bunions?

Although bunions aren't hereditary, you can inherit a faulty foot structure that's prone to bunion development. Certain other factors, including foot trauma, neuromuscular issues, and flat feet, can also contribute to bunions.

Ankle & Foot Specialists uses advanced diagnostics to find the cause of your bunions and personalize your treatment.

What is the best treatment for bunions?

Bunions require professional treatment because they're bone deformities. Ankle & Foot Specialists uses a two-pronged approach focusing on both symptom relief and preventing bunion enlargement. Common treatments include:


Protective pads, which are typically crafted from soft felt, prevent your bunion from rubbing against your shoe. This relieves skin inflammation and irritation.

Corn and callus treatment

Ankle & Foot Specialists removes corns and calluses through a simple in-office shaving procedure to relieve one of the most common side effects of bunions.

Footwear changes

Ankle & Foot Specialists may recommend new footwear that makes enough room for the bunion and doesn't contribute to its further development. 


Orthotics, which can be either over-the-counter or custom made for your measurements, stabilize the MTP joint and help position your foot for normal movement. 


Specific toe and foot exercises can keep your affected joint mobile and prevent stiffness from setting in. 


Splints are typically worn overnight. They position the toe and joint to gently correct alignment. Splints are often a good bunion treatment for teenagers, as their bones are still growing and are more easily corrected with nonsurgical means.


If conservative treatments aren't sufficient, you may need a bunionectomy. This surgery removes the bunion and repositions your toe. 

Ankle & Foot Specialists can treat any type of bunion, from those just starting to cause symptoms to those that make it hard to walk, using their wide range of treatment options.

For expert bunion treatment, call Ankle & Foot Specialists or use online booking to make an appointment today.