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Bunion Specialist

Integrity Foot & Ankle Center, LLC

Patrick M. Qualtire, DPM

Podiatrist & Ankle and Foot Surgeon located in Cumming, GA

If you wear tight or ill-fitting shoes with a narrow toe box, you’re also more likely to experience a bunion. Bunions are common, but without prompt diagnosis and treatment, they can negatively affect your mobility and quality of life. At Integrity Foot & Ankle Center, LLC, in Cumming, Georgia, board-certified podiatrist Patrick Qualtire, DPM, offers advanced bunion treatments including the CrossRoads® miniBunion™ implant and Wright PROstep™ minimally-invasive surgery. To schedule an appointment, call the office and speak with a friendly team member, or book a consultation online today.

Bunion Q & A

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a hard, bony growth that occurs on the outside edge of your foot at the base of your big toe. It develops when the bones in your big toe move out of place and push against your second and third toes. This pressure causes the joint to bulge out, resulting in pain, redness, and irritation.

What are the symptoms of a bunion?

The symptoms of a bunion vary depending on size and severity. Telltale signs of a bunion include:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Numbness
  • A burning sensation
  • Redness
  • Corns and calluses

As the bunion grows, you might also find it difficult to bend or move your big toe.

What causes bunions?

Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes bunions to form, but it’s thought that a combination of genetics and bone structure plays a role. Other factors that may increase your risk of experiencing a bunion, include:

  • Foot injuries
  • Degenerative conditions like rheumatoid arthritis
  • A big toe that’s hypermobile
  • Conditions that affect the nerves or muscles in your feet

You’re also more likely to experience a bunion if you wear high heels or other shoes that are tight or ill-fitting.

How is a bunion diagnosed?

To diagnose a bunion, Dr. Qualtire reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, and carefully examines your feet and toes. During your exam, he gently presses on the bunion, checking for areas of tenderness or warmth. 

Afterward, Dr. Qualtire takes a series of X-rays. An X-ray can indicate the severity of your bunion, providing insights and guidance for treatment.

How are bunions treated?

Whenever possible, Dr. Qualtire treats bunions using conservative, at-home measures. If you have a mild or moderate bunion, you might benefit from wearing comfortable, padded shoes, icing your feet, or using custom orthotics.

If your bunion is severe and negatively affects your mobility, surgery may be necessary. In this case, Dr. Qualtire might recommend:

CrossRoads® miniBunion™

Dr. Qualtire is one of the first foot and ankle surgeons in the state of Georgia to use the CrossRoads miniBunion implant. Renowned surgeon, Bradley Lamm, of the Paley Institute, developed the technology.

miniBunion surgery is a quick, outpatient procedure. The implant mimics your natural cartilage and bone tissue, promoting a speedy recovery and low-risk of complications.

Wright PROstep™ minimally-invasive surgery

Wright PROstep is another minimally-invasive surgical technique used to treat bunions. During this type of surgery, Dr. Qualtire makes a series of very small incisions in your feet. Afterward, he repositions your bones and soft tissue, correcting the bunion. The small incisions allow for less downtime, fewer complications, and quicker recovery. 

To explore your treatment options for a bunion, schedule an appointment at Integrity Foot & Ankle Center, LLC. Call the office to speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.