Bunions Specialist

American Foot & Ankle Specialists

Kriti Puthenpurakal, DPM

Board Certified Podiatrist Foot & Ankle Surgeon located in Naperville, IL & Downer's Grove, IL

Bunions are a relatively common foot problem. They affect around 23% of people between 23 and 65, and over 35% of people over 65. Podiatric treatment can realign the bones in the foot and get rid of the pain. Experienced podiatrist Kriti Puthenpurakal, DPM, treats people with bunions at her practice at American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Naperville, Illinois. She can help you too. Find out more by calling the practice or booking online.

Bunions Q&A

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bony bump you often see on the joint at the base of your big toe. Bunions happen when the big toe leans toward the second toe, pushing the bone out of place, and causing the bump. The bump grows progressively larger.

You can develop smaller bunions, called bunionettes, on the joint of the little toe. These form the same way a big-toe bunion does.

If you see a bump beginning to form, call American Foot & Ankle Specialists and get it checked out.

What are the symptoms of a bunion?

Bunion symptoms get progressively worse as the toe joint pushes farther and farther out of alignment. The most apparent sign is the bulging bump at the base of the big toe. Other symptoms include:

  • A burning sensation
  • Corns
  • Numbness
  • Ongoing or sporadic pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

If you have any of these symptoms, keep an eye on them and mention them at your next appointment with Dr. Puthenpurakal.

What causes bunions?

Many people believe that wearing too-tight shoes or spending hours on your feet cause bunions, but they're incorrect.

Health professionals aren’t sure what causes bunions. They tend to agree the problem likely lies in the person’s foot type and if they’ve suffered a foot injury. Ill-fitting shoes and standing up all day do, however, aggravate the condition. 

Inflammatory health conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause bunions.

How are bunions treated?

The longer a bunion is left untreated, the more severe and painful it becomes. Treatments include:

Cushioning and shoe inserts

Bunion pads act as a buffer between your foot and shoe, which eases the pain. Shoe inserts distribute pressure evenly across your foot, preventing your bunion from getting worse.

Changing shoes

Buying comfortable shoes with a spacious toe box that doesn’t pinch can ease some of the pain associated with bunions.


Ice applications reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.


Ibuprofen and acetaminophen help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Dr. Puthenpurakal can prescribe cortisone injections if over-the-counter medicines don’t work.


If conservative treatments don’t help, you might need bunion surgery. Bunion surgery can include removing part of the toe bone to straighten it, removing swollen tissue from around the toe joint, and permanently joining the affected joint bones.

Bunions can have long-term complications if ignored. Call American Foot & Ankle Specialists today to schedule an appointment or book online.