What is a bunion? When should I get treatment?

Oct 02, 2022

What is a bunion? When should I get treatment?

Garden State Pain and Orthopedics offers minimally invasive bunion treatments for those experiencing foot pain, bunions, and bursitis. Below Dr. Scott Hanauer explains bunions, treatments, and answers some common questions surrounding bunion surgery.

When to get treatment - Dr. Scott Hanauer

Foot and Ankle Specialist Scott Hanauer, DPM, believes excellent patient care is based on a foundation of compassion, trust, and expertise. At Garden State Pain & Orthopedics, he works with his patients throughout Clifton, West Orange, Edison, and Jersey City, New Jersey to build relationships of mutual respect in order to help them return to what they love doing as safely and pain-free as possible. Below, Dr. Hanauer answers a few common questions about bunion surgery. 

What is a bunion?

“A bunion is a growth or prominence on the inside of your foot, right along the side of the big toe. Usually this is something that is progressive and gets worse over time. It usually causes certain irritation in certain shoes, especially more narrow ones.

Pain from bunions usually causes inflammation or bursitis on the inside of the big toe, which usually brings patients in to see us.”

How is a bunion diagnosed and treated?

“Severe bunions can be visually observed by the eye. To further diagnose the severity of the bunion, a clinical examination and x-ray are taken to determine how to further treat the bunion. 

Here at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics we offer minimally invasive bunion surgery as well as corrective hammer toe surgery to straighten out the big toe and the lesser toes. We do this through several small percutaneous or portal incisions. Through these we are able to shift the bone in the foot so it is straight and aligned.

The minimally invasive approach allows the patient to be weight bearing after surgery. For the first two weeks the patient will be in a walking boot and then will be transitioned into a surgical shoe for two more weeks. After those 4 weeks, an additional x-ray is taken and the patient is back in a supportive athletic sneaker.”

When should I get my bunion treated?

“Your body will tell you when it’s ready for surgery. With something such as a bunion or hammer toe - if it affects your body on a daily basis and you are in constant pain, it is time for surgery.” If you are experiencing a lot of pain, trying a different pair of sneakers may solve your issue. If the pain persists, we suggest you get consultation from a doctor. At Garden State Pain and Orthopedics, we have additional treatments to minimally invasive surgery including custom orthotics, and injections. 

What hesitation do you usually see when it comes to bunion surgery? 

“The most common hesitation we see when it comes to bunion surgery are patients who know a friend who had bunion surgery that was extremely painful causing them to be off their feet for about 6-12 weeks in a cast. 

At Garden State Pain and Orthopedics we offer minimally invasive bunion surgery. This allows the patient to be walking in a protective boot the day of surgery. After 2 weeks patients are typically transitioned into a protective shoe for an additional 2 weeks, and 4 weeks after surgery the patient will be back in a supportive athletic sneaker. Most patients are back to normal activity 10-12 weeks after surgery.”

More about Dr. Hanauer

Dr. Hanauer is trained in sports-related injuries, including ankle arthroscopy, ankle ligament repair and reconstruction, fracture repair, Achilles tendonitis and tears, and tendon injury and cartilage restoration surgery. He also specializes in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, including ankle replacement, flat foot and cavus foot reconstruction, and ankle and midfoot fusions. Dr. Hanauer is also trained in advanced minimally invasive forefoot surgery, including bunion correction, hammertoe deformity correction, and arthritis. 

Dr. Hanauer completed his undergraduate education at the University of Maryland, earning his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiological Sciences. He then earned his Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine Degree from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine in New York City, where he graduated in the top 10 of his class with Cum Laude honors while receiving numerous scholarships and awards. Dr. Hanauer went on to complete his residency at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Northern Virginia.