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Bunion Specialist

Tobin C Gallawa, DPM, FACFAS

Board Certified Podiatrist located in Sacramento, CA

A bunion is a common foot deformity that causes a bony bump to form at the base of your big toe. The progressive condition causes pain and may lead to permanent joint damage. Board-certified podiatrist Tobin C. Gallawa, DPM, FACFAS, in Sacramento, California, specializes in bunion care, offering many treatment options to alleviate your discomfort. For expert podiatric care for your bunion, call the office today.

Bunion Q&A

What is a bunion?

A bunion, also called hallux valgus, is a type of foot deformity that affects the joint at the base of your big toe, creating a bony bump. Your foot deformity develops from a misalignment of the bones at the front of your foot. Instead of pointing forward, the bones in your big toe lean towards the second toe, causing the base of the joint of your big toe to stick out.


You may be at risk of developing a bunion if you have an inherited foot type that makes you more susceptible to the deformity. Wearing shoes that crowd your toes may not cause bunions, but they may aggravate the deformity.

What are bunion symptoms?

Bunions are a progressive foot deformity that worsens over time. In most cases, bunion symptoms appear during the later stages of the deformity. Common bunion symptoms include:


  • Bulging at the base of your big toe
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns in between the big and second toe
  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation
  • Joint stiffness
  • Difficulty walking


Though you may not require medical treatment for your bunion, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Gallawa for an assessment, especially if your bunion causes pain or affects your daily routine. 

What can I expect during a bunion evaluation?

Dr. Gallawa takes a patient-centered approach to care, and you can expect a comprehensive evaluation when you come to see him for the management of your bunion. During your exam, he reviews your symptoms, medical and family history, and evaluates your feet. To assess the degree of your deformity and monitor changes, he may also request X-rays of your foot. 

After your evaluation, Dr. Gallawa spends time reviewing his findings with you, as well as your treatment options so you can make an informed decision about your treatment. 


How are bunions treated?

When possible, Dr. Gallawa takes a conservative approach to the treatment of your bunion. Depending on the severity of the deformity, you may not need any treatment at all except periodic monitoring. 

For the management of your symptoms. Dr. Gallawa may recommend:


  • Wearing wide-box shoes
  • Padding to place over your bunion to reduce pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Activity modification
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Orthotic devices


When conservative treatments no longer provide relief from your symptoms or your bunion is making it difficult for you to walk, Dr. Gallawa may recommend surgery.

For expert podiatry care for your bunion, contact the office of Tobin C. Gallawa DPM FACFAS by phone today.