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Myths About Bunion


Per the American Podiatric Medical Association, a bunion is a “bump” on the joint at the base of your big toe that forms when bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place. Some are painless while others present discomfort so intense it renders a patient unable to fully enjoy daily activity. Either way, bunions are not only a nuisance, if ignored they will progressively get worse.

This month, Beaver Valley Foot Clinic’s Board Certified Podiatrist, Dr. Christina Teimouri, DPM separates fact from fiction by debunking popular myths about bunions.

  1. True or False. Only adults and the elderly suffer from bunions.False. While adults and the elderly are more prone to bunions, Podiatrists treat children and teens for bunions every day. And despite the common belief that bunions in children are ultimately related to poor footwear, it’s more commonly associated with genetics than shoes. It’s important to address bunions in children as early as possible so their feet have time to properly grow. If you feel your child has a bunion, seek the help of a Podiatrist as soon as possible.


  1. True or False. New shoes may help bunions from hurting worse.True. If you just started to notice a bunion forming or you’ve had one for a while, but aren’t experiencing pain, shop around for a pair of shoes with roomier toe boxes or get fitted for a custom pair of orthotic inserts which will help with arch stability. Though it won’t correct your issue, this may prevent the bunion from getting worse.
  2. True or False. If I need surgery, I’ll have to be “put under”.False. If you are not a fan of being put to sleep during surgery a.k.a receiving general anesthesia, you are in luck. In most cases, many bunion surgeries only require local anesthesia and are considered outpatient. This is also a bonus from an insurance perspective because the liability and cost of general anesthesia vs. local is greater. On the other hand, if being awake during such a procedure is not your cup of tea, you can always elect for general anesthesia.
  3. True or False. If I’m not in pain, I don’t need to seek bunion treatment. False. Contrary to popular belief, a bunion that doesn’t present much pain can actually cause more damage as it will only continue to grow. Over time, it may affect your ability to engage in regular physical activity, inhibit you from wearing certain shoes and become unsightly.
  4. True of False. I’ve heard surgeries are less invasive than they used to be.True. This is a big one for many patients. Even when a bunion presents a negative impact on a person’s daily life, they may be less enthusiastic to address the issue because they’re worried about an extended period of “down” time interfering with work as a result of corrective surgery. Good news! In most cases, and based on the demand of your job, many can return to a sedentary desk job within two weeks of surgery. Your Podiatrist will work with you on a post-operative care plan that is designed specifically for your lifestyle. Providing you follow their advice and there are no unexpected complications, you should be moving around after your bunion treatment in no time!

5. True or False: Every Bunions Can Be Painful

False, in some cases it may be true but most of the time this isn’t true at all! The pain levels depends on the severity of your bunion.

If it’s mild then it may not cause any pain and you may not know that you have developed a bunion, but if it’s serious then it can cause a lot of discomfort.

However, if your bunion is moderate then the pain will remain normal and won’t disturb you a lot, but it doesn’t matter at what stage your bunion is getting the treatment is always essential.

6. True or False: Bunions Can Return!

True, bunions are a lot likely to come back when you delay it’s treatment for too long.

Delaying the treatment will make your situation worse which makes it hard for your doctor to treat the problem.

However, even if they successful treat it there will still be chances that you will develop a new bunion.

Especially if you don’t follow preventive tips given by your doctor, if you don’t take your medicines properly or wear wrong shoes.

Therefore it’s important to keep this thing in your mind that you should never delay your treatment, if you think you are suffering from bunions then call your doctor immediately.

7. True or False: Bunions Are Genetic

False, There are many diseases that you may inherit from your parents or grandparents but bunions aren’t one of those problems!

Bunions aren’t hereditary at all, which means even if your parents suffered from it there are no chances then you will develop this problem.

However, if you keep facing this problem then it must be because of your foot type or the shoes you wear.

You can’t do anything about your foot shape but you can surely change your shoes.

Can bunions be hereditary?

Yes, bunions can be hereditary. A family history of bunions can increase your risk of developing them. The tendency to develop bunions may be inherited due to the structure and shape of the foot that runs in families. If you have a family history of bunions, you may be more likely to develop them, but this is not always the case, as other factors such as footwear and foot mechanics can also play a role in their development.

How can I make my shoes more comfortable if I have bunions?

If you have bunions, you can make your shoes more comfortable by following these tips:

  1. Choose shoes with a wide toe box to reduce pressure on the bunion.
  2. Look for shoes made of soft, flexible materials that won’t rub against the bunion.
  3. Avoid high heels and shoes with pointed toes, as these can exacerbate bunion pain.
  4. Consider using bunion pads or cushions to protect the bunion from pressure and friction.
  5. Stretch your shoes by using a shoe stretcher or taking them to a professional shoe repair shop.
  6. Wear shoes that have good arch support to help distribute pressure more evenly across your foot.
  7. Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose, as both can cause discomfort and pain.
  8. If possible, choose shoes with adjustable straps or laces to customize the fit.
  9. Consider wearing orthotic inserts to provide additional support and cushioning.
  10. Replace your shoes regularly, as worn-out shoes can contribute to foot discomfort and pain.

Can bunions come back after treatment?

Yes, bunions can come back after treatment, especially if the underlying cause of the bunion is not addressed. Surgical treatment can correct the deformity and realign the toe joint, but if the factors that contributed to the development of the bunion, such as improper footwear or genetic predisposition, are not addressed, the bunion may reoccur over time.

Bunions are one of the most common foot ailments and are often ignored. If you or someone you know are suffering from a bunion, don’t wait any longer. Contact Board Certified Podiatrist Dr. Christina Teimouri, DPM at one of our four Greater Pittsburgh locations today – (878) 313-3338.