Philadelphia Tri-state Area Podiatrists Answer Foot Health Questions

We believe that every question deserves a good answer. Healthmark Foot and Ankle provides you the best up-to date information for your concerns.

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  • Will I need bunion surgery?

    Patients often think that surgery is the only permanent way to relieve bunion pain. However, depending on your level of injury, you may not have to undergo surgical treatment—and you can still experience a full recovery.

    Doctors usually recommend bunion surgery only as a last resort for treatment, for a number of reasons:

    • Bunions can still return after surgery. Patients who believe surgery will relieve bunions “once and for all”—and who do not change their footwear habits—are often discouraged when the bunions reappear.
    • Surgery may not alter your foot’s appearance. Patients who are considering surgery for aesthetic reasons may be disappointed that their foot’s appearance did not improve.
    • Surgery may affect flexibility. Surgery can stiffen the big toe joint, which may be troubling to athletes or others who require a full range of motion in the big toe.
    • You will need to rest after surgery. You will have to stay inactive and off of your foot for weeks after surgery. Any attempt to hurry the healing process can cause further damage to the joint.
    • Your foot may change shape during surgery. While every effort may be made to match your foot to its twin, your foot may become narrower or otherwise asymmetrical to the other. 

    In many cases, bunions may be corrected with footwear improvements, orthotics, and other devices that can correct the toe joint to its proper position. Our Media podiatrists can help you decide which option is right for you in your first consultation. Call HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates today in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644 to get started.

  • How can I tell if I have a bunion?

    Many people will dismiss pain in their feet, assuming it is not a serious condition. However, this willingness to shrug off considerable pain usually leads to the condition getting worse, leading to an inability to wear shoes or even walk until the patient has no choice but to undergo bunion surgery in Philadelphia.

    The best defense against serious forms of treatment is to spot your condition early. If you think you have a blister on the side of your foot, examine it carefully; you may actually have a bunion.

    The most common signs of a bunion include:

    • A bony bump on the inside of the foot at the first big toe joint
    • The big toe is turned inward, pressing toward the other toes 
    • Pain in the joint, often made worse when wearing shoes or walking

    Other than these “telltale” signs, there are additional symptoms such as:

    • Redness and swelling of the big toe joint
    • Irritated skin on or around the bunion
    • Callouses along the inside edge of the big toe
    • Blisters at the site of the bunion or around the toes

    Bunions are especially troublesome conditions because they rarely act alone. A bunion will increase your risk of suffering other painful foot conditions, such as corns, calluses, and blisters, and will make walking increasingly difficult until the pressure on the toe joint is released.

    The Media podiatrists at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates can help you choose the best course of treatment for your bunion, getting you back on your feet for good. Call us today for an appointment in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644.

  • What are bunion splints, and should I get one?

    A bunion splint is a plastic device used to straighten and realign your big toe. These splints generally have a holder for the big toe and a long support that extends along the bottom of the foot. The support holds the brace in place as the holder “pulls” the big toe away from the other toes, stretching the tendon and taking the pressure off the bunion joint.

    There are several different kinds of bunion splints, but they usually fall into two categories:

    1. Flexible splints. Flexible splints are usually made of fabric or elastic. They adjust to fit around the middle of your foot and secure the toe out and away from the rest of the foot with an elastic strap. These are often called “day splints” or “work splints” because they can be worn under socks and shoes.
    2. Hard splints. Hard splints are made from rigid, molded plastic and metal, and they are often used only at night, since the plastic is not intended to bear the weight of your body. Although ready-made rigid braces are available, our Philadelphia foot doctors can fit you with a custom-made rigid splint that will mold perfectly to your foot, so you will feel the least possible amount of discomfort while you heal.


    If you want to know how to get rid of bunions for good, see one of our trusted Philadelphia podiatrists at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates. Call our Media office at 610-565-3668 or our Phoenixville office at 610-933-8644 to set up a consultation.

    Want more information about proper foot care? Use the View Details button at the top of this page to request a FREE copy of our book, The Foot Is Not an Island: Recognizing Vitamin D Deficiency & How to Correct It.

  • Why are bunions painful?

    Bunions are painful because they are caused by the big toe turning outward, which causes a bump of tissue and bone. As the base of the toe becomes more pronounced, the bunion starts to progress and become painful. The new angle of the toe, combined with the swelling, can cause painful bunions. 

    Painful bunions can also be caused by the development of a hammer toe. The big toe eventually starts to lie under or over the second toe. This results in a hammer toe, which can cause pain and swelling. A Phoenixville podiatrist can assess your bunions and determine the right course of treatment. 

    Bunions are caused by compression of the toes, which can result in a physical deformity. Bunions are often caused by too-small or narrow-fitting shoes, such as high heels, which is why women are nine times more likely to develop bunions than men. Heredity, polio and arthritis can cause painful bunions, but these factors are rare. If you delay fixing the problem, the bunions progress and start to hurt. 

    Painful bunions can prevent you from performing everyday activities. You may unable to walk more than a few steps without severe pain. You may notice toe swelling and stiffness. If pain relievers and better-fitting footwear don’t do the trick, then you have a severe case of painful bunions that requires surgical treatment from a Phoenixville podiatrist. 

    If you have bunions and would like an opinion from an expert in the field, contact Healthmark Foot and Ankle. Healthmark can connect you with a Phoenixville podiatrist who provides excellent care not only for bunions, but also many other foot and ankle conditions. Contact them today for a consultation at 1-610-933-8644.

  • What is a bunion?

    A bunion is a genetic deformity in the front of the foot whee the first metatarsal bone drifts away from the second metatarsal, resulting in a boney protuberance which can be painful in closed-toe shoes. Pointed dress shoes and flat feet can also contribute to the formation of a bunion. Wider shoes, bunion pads, anti-inflamatories and orthotics are a few examples of conservative treatment options for painful bunions. If conservative measures fail to relieve pain surgical connection may be necessary.