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Your Leading Podiatrists in Northern Illinois


Bunions are bumps on the side of the foot that are often considered to be unsightly, but it's important to understand that a bunion is more than an eyesore. A bunion is actually a deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe that can cause serious symptoms, including pain, difficulty in walking, and even the eventual development of arthritis.

At Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, our team of podiatrists are proud to provide treatment for bunions on big toes and other areas of the feet to patients throughout the Midwest. As the second largest foot and ankle practice in Illinois, our physicians are highly trained in the most advanced procedures and technology for both foot bunion surgery and non-surgical bunion treatment. We’re passionate about providing the most long-term, minimally-invasive relief possible.

Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists is now accepting walk-in appointments, and we proudly accept most major insurance providers. If you’re ready to receive foot bunion treatment from the top foot specialist Chicago has to offer, reach out and get started with us today.

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What Causes A Bunion?

Common Types of Bunions & Their Causes

While bunions are generally characterized as bony growths that protrude from the side of the big toe, there are actually several different types of bunions that can occur, both of which will require a slightly different approach to their treatment.

At Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle, we commonly see two types of bunions:

  • Hallux Valgus: This is the most common type of bunion, which is characterized by the big toe pointing towards the second toe. Hallux valgus occurs as a result of the metatarsal bones (the long bones in the foot that connect to the toes) shifting out of place. This type of bunion can be caused by shoes that are too tight or by an inherited foot structure.
  • Tailor's Bunion: A tailor's bunion, also called a bunionette, is a small bump that forms on the outside of the little toe. This type of bunion occurs when the fifth metatarsal bone shifts out of place. Tailor's bunions are often caused by shoes that are too narrow or by an inherited foot structure.

When you visit Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle, we'll take a look at your bunions and ask you about your symptoms. We'll also perform a physical exam, during which we'll check for any redness, swelling, or calluses on your foot. Once we have a diagnosis, we can develop a customized treatment plan that works for you.

Experienced Podiatric Surgeons Near You

Toe Bunion Treatments; Surgical & Non-Surgical Solutions

While there are several different types of bunions, the goal of treatment is always the same: to relieve pain and pressure and to improve the function and alignment of the big toe. It's important to remember that a bunion is actually a deformity of the bone, so ultimately, it must be treated at the underlying source in order to prevent further complications.

Depending on the severity of your bunion and your symptoms, the team at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle may recommend:

Cortisone Injections: If you have a bunion that is causing pain and swelling, we may recommend a cortisone injection. Cortisone is a type of anti-inflammatory medication that can help to reduce pain and swelling.

  • Custom-Made Orthotics: Orthotics are devices that are worn inside the shoe to provide support and alignment. Custom-made orthotics are specifically designed to fit your feet, and can help alleviate bunion symptoms by taking pressure off of the deformity.
  • Bracing, Padding, and Splints: There are a variety of different devices that can be used to support the big toe and relieve pain. These may include bracing, padding, or splints that are worn during the day or at night.
  • Pain Management: If you are experiencing pain from your bunion, we may recommend over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. We may also recommend other types of pain management, such as ice or heat therapy.
  • Cold Laser Treatment: Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses low levels of light to stimulate the healing process and reduce pain.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct a bunion. Surgery is typically only recommended if other treatments have been unsuccessful in relieving pain and improving function. The team at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle are proud to specialize in Lapiplasty, a cutting-edge, minimally-invasive surgery that can effectively treat even the most severe bunions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 3D/4D Lapiplasty bunion surgery?

3D Lapiplasty is a cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedure that can effectively treat bunions of all sizes. This type of surgery uses small titanium plates and screws to realign the bones in the foot, which results in a quicker, more comfortable recovery. Lapiplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure, and patients typically recover significantly more quickly than from traditional bunion surgery.

What other advanced treatment options do you offer for bunions?

At Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle, we’re passionate about utilizing the latest techniques and technology to offer our patients the best outcomes possible following their treatment plan. To learn more about the more advanced treatments we provide for bunions, visit our Treatments page.

Do you accept insurance for the treatment of bunions?

Yes! Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists is proud to accept insurance from a wide range of providers across the Midwest, including Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and more. You can find our list of accepted providers on our Insurances page, page, and if you don’t see your provider listed, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable staff to discuss your options.

How can I get started with the best podiatrists near me?

At Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, we strive to make it as simple as possible to find the relief you deserve. Just use our online scheduling tool to select a time that works for you. We’re also accepting walk-in appointments, so feel free to visit one of our convenient locations near you.