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Kelly L. Geoghan, DPM -  - Podiatrist

Kelly L. Geoghan, DPM

Board-Certified Podiatrist & Heel Pain Specialist located in Baltimore, MD

A bunion looks like it’s just a bump of bone, but it’s really a symptom of internal foot changes that require treatment. At her Baltimore, Maryland, podiatric practice, Dr. Kelly L. Geoghan puts her extensive experience with bunion diagnosis and treatment to work for you. Dr. Geoghan believes in correcting bunions where they start, which means she relieves joint stress and repositions your foot’s framework to restore healthy foot balance. Call or click the online scheduler to access a wide variety of nonsurgical and surgical bunion solutions today.

Bunion Q & A

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bony protrusion that usually appears on the side of your big toe. It might look like a bump, but it’s technically a foot deformity. 

Bunions begin when the long bone below your big toe (the first metatarsal bone) moves outward toward your other foot. At the same time, your main big toe bone (the proximal phalanx) moves inward. 

The joint where these two bones meet, the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, protrudes to create the bunion on the side of your big toe. Although much rarer, you can also develop bunions in your little toe, called bunionettes. 

What symptoms does a bunion cause?

Aside from the obvious bump on your foot, bunions can also be very uncomfortable. Some common problems caused by bunions include:

  • Pain
  • Soreness
  • Red or raw-looking skin
  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness
  • Stiffness


Bunions can also give rise to other foot problems. Unstable foot movement caused by bunions can lead to calluses on the bottom of your feet. You can develop corns or calluses on the bunion bump when it rubs against your shoes. 

In some cases, the cartilage in your MTP joint wears down because the bunion prevents the joint from moving smoothly. This can lead to arthritis. Bunions can also cause bursitis, in which the small fluid-filled sacs that cushion joints swell severely.

Bunions are progressive, which means they worsen instead of resolving on their own. If you don’t treat your bunion, you might end up with severe problems like difficulty walking normally.

What causes bunions?

In most cases, bunions happen because of your foot type, which you inherit. Foot trauma can also cause bunions.

It’s a common misconception that shoes cause bunions. But wearing high heels or other shoes that fit your forefoot tightly can make bunions worse or speed up bunion development.

What does bunion treatment involve?

Dr. Geoghan uses a variety of nonsurgical treatments for bunions, including:

  • Changing your shoes
  • Ice packs
  • Padding 
  • Taping
  • Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Corticosteroid injections 
  • Custom orthotics


Nonsurgical treatments are often helpful, especially for earlier stage bunions. 

If your bunion doesn’t improve with conservative treatment, Dr. Geoghan may recommend surgery. In bunion surgery, she removes the bony prominence and realigns the forefoot as needed to prevent bunion recurrence. 

Click the online appointment tool or call the office of Kelly L. Geoghan, DPM, for bunion treatment today.