Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Grand Rapids and Bigfork, MN


Bunions services offered in Grand Rapids and Bigfork, MN

Up to 30% of Americans develop bunions today. If you have a bunion that causes pain and difficulty walking, Renew Foot & Ankle is here to help in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota, office. Double board-certified podiatrist Eric Gilbertson DPM, FACFAS, is a masterful foot surgeon who offers both conservative and surgical strategies to relieve bunion pain and discomfort. Call the office or click on the scheduling tool to arrange your consultation today.

Bunions Q&A

What are bunions?

A bunion is an area of pronounced swelling, with a hard bump, in the joint at the base of your big toe. Bunions protrude from the side, with the big toe often overlapping the second toe.

Smaller bunions (bunionettes) can also develop on the side of your little toe. 

What causes bunions?


Bunions develop with instability in the largest big toe joint (the metatarsophalangeal or MTP joint). This can happen because of abnormal motion and pressure involving the MTP joint, which can occur in many ways. 

You can inherit a foot type that’s likely to develop bunions. Foot injuries or trauma can also lead to bunions. Athletes may be prone to bunions because of frequent trauma and pressure over the MTP joint.

Wearing high heels may speed up the development of bunions since they force the foot into unnatural positions, which may partially explain why bunions are more common in women. 

Women are also more susceptible to arthritis than men. Arthritis can cause joint changes that increase your risk of developing bunions. 

What are the symptoms of bunions?


Bunions can cause symptoms such as:


  • Pain at the base of your big toe
  • Big toe stiffness
  • Inflammation and swelling around your MTP joint
  • Corns or calluses on your second toe
  • Corns or calluses on the MTP joint due to shoe friction

Many people with bunions have to wear open-toed shoes due to the discomfort of shoes hugging their bunion painfully. Sometimes bunions may cause such serious pain that they force you to limp slightly, leading to an altered gait and increasing your risk of other foot problems like hammertoe.

How are bunions treated?

At Renew Foot & Ankle, Dr. Gilbertson believes in patient-driven decisions. He takes the time to educate you about the different bunion treatment options, allowing you to choose whatever works best for you. 


Nonsurgical care is always an option, especially for people who have bunions with very mild symptoms. Some of the effective nonsurgical options for bunions include:


  • Taping
  • Icing
  • Custom orthotics
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroid and anesthetic injections

A combination of these nonsurgical bunion treatments can lessen your discomfort and prevent your bunion from progressing. However, these treatments don’t correct the bone deformity itself. 

Surgery can remove the extra bone and reposition the malpositioned bones in your foot. Dr. Gilbertson then places special internal hardware to keep your MTP joint positioned properly long-term. 

This surgical process relieves your symptoms, eliminates your bunion, and prevents it from coming back. At Renew Foot & Ankle, Dr. Gilbertson uses minimally invasive state-of-the-art technology to produce the best bunion surgery results. 

Have chronic foot pain due to a bunion? Renew Foot & Ankle can help. Call the office or book your consultation with Dr. Gilbertson using online scheduling now.