Bunions Specialist

Madison Advanced Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle Surgery & Podiatry located in Madison, WI

If you have a painful, bony bump on the side of your big toe, it may be a bunion. Foot and ankle surgeon Colin Graney, DPM, offers noninvasive and surgical bunion treatments at Madison Advanced Foot & Ankle in Madison, Wisconsin. Bunions only get worse without treatment, so call or book an appointment online today.

Bunions Q & A

What is a bunion?

Also called hallux valgus, a bunion is a common foot deformity. This progressive condition begins when your big toe leans toward your second toe instead of pointing straight ahead. The abnormal angle of your big toe gradually shifts the bones out of alignment and causes a bump to form at the base of the joint. As the condition worsens, a bunion can make it difficult to walk or wear shoes.

A bunion can form on one foot or both feet. When a bunion develops on the little toe side of your foot, it’s called a bunionette.

What causes bunions?

Bunions form for many reasons. The most common cause of bunions involves inherited differences in foot structure that leave you prone to getting a bunion. 

Wearing tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes that crowd your toes doesn’t necessarily cause a bunion, but it may worsen the condition or cause symptoms to develop more quickly. Spending long hours on your feet can also aggravate a bunion and worsen your symptoms.

What are the symptoms of a bunion?

The most prominent sign of a bunion is the appearance of a bump on the base of your big toe along the inner side of your foot. Other signs and symptoms of a bunion include:


  • Foot pain and tenderness
  • Redness and inflammation
  • A burning sensation
  • Restricted range of motion

If the bunion rubs against the inside of your shoe, a rough patch (corn or callus) may develop on the bump.

How are bunions diagnosed and treated?

Dr. Graney can usually diagnose a bunion based on a physical exam of your foot. However, he may take an X-ray to fully assess the severity of your condition. 

Then, Dr. Graney recommends the best course of treatment for your particular condition. Early bunion treatments typically focus on relieving your pain and symptoms, but don’t reverse the deformity. Nonsurgical bunion treatments include:

  • Changing to shoes with a roomier toe box
  • Wearing orthotics or shoe inserts
  • Padding the bunion
  • Avoiding activities that irritate the bunion
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Icing the bunion

If your pain and symptoms continue despite attempts at treatment, it may be time to consider bunion surgery. As a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Graney helps you decide if surgery is the best option for you.

Bunions don’t go away on their own. Call Madison Advanced Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online today to receive prompt treatment.