Bunion Specialist

Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Albuquerque, NM, Rio Rancho, NM, South Valley, NM, Edgewood, NM & Grants, NM

Do you have a hard bump at the bottom of your big toe joint? It’s probably a bunion, one of the most common foot deformities today. At Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico, the expert podiatric doctors offer a variety of solutions, ranging from conservative care for early-stage bunions to surgical repair for painful long-term bunions. There are five locations in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, South Valley, Edgewood, and Grants, New Mexico, for your convenience. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online.

Bunion Q & A

What are bunions?

A bunion is an enlargement of your metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, which is at the bottom of your big toe. When this joint shifts out of position, it moves your big toe toward the other toes. 

This forces the joint in the wrong direction, causing it to form a painful bony bump on the side of your foot. You can also develop bunions around your little toe, called tailor's bunions. 

How do you treat bunions?

The podiatric experts at Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico use the most conservative, noninvasive methods possible to treat bunions. But, conservative care is most effective in the early stages, so it's important to seek treatment as soon as you notice a bunion developing. 

Generally, treatment protocols vary by the severity of the bunion, with common approaches including:

Mild bunions

Your podiatrist treats mild bunions by relieving joint pressure and restoring tendon and ligament balance in the foot. This may include changing to shoes with a wider toe box, wearing shoes with excellent arch support, or wearing small pads to cushion your bunion. Your doctor may also prescribe a topical anti-inflammatory cream to soothe discomfort. 

Moderate bunions

In a moderate bunion, your big toe exerts significant pressure on the second toe, and possibly even moves under that smaller toe. Sometimes a moderate-stage bunion triggers another problem called hammertoe, in which your second toe abnormally contracts downward. 

Moderate bunions may respond to conservative care, but if you’re still in pain after conservative care, your doctor may recommend a surgery called bunionectomy. In this procedure, your podiatric surgeon repositions your big toe joint and restores ligament and tendon balance. 

Severe bunions

With a severe bunion, your MTP joint is badly malpositioned, creating a large and obvious foot deformity. The best solution for a severe bunion is often a surgical procedure with the Lapidus Plating System. 

In this procedure, your surgeon realigns your MTP joint and then fixes it in the new position using a small screw and plate system. Depending on your needs, your surgeon may also remove the bony prominence, cut the bone, and restore ligament and tendon alignment. 

Whatever stage of bunion you have, Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico is here for you. 

What can I expect after bunion surgery?

Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico performs most bunion surgeries as outpatient procedures in their state-of-the-art outpatient surgical center or in a hospital. Most patients recover quickly and need little-to-no pain medication. 

You can walk immediately after a bunionectomy while wearing a special walking boot. In around a month you can resume wearing a tennis shoe on the foot. 

If you have severe bunion surgery, the unique Lapidus plate allows for superior stability after bunion surgery, so you can bear weight after just two or three weeks. With older bunion surgery methods, patients often had to wait up to eight weeks to bear weight. 

Book your bunion assessment with online scheduling or call the Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Mexico office nearest you.