The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

This Autumn, Look Out For Bunion Pain, Say NY Podiatrists

Posted by on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014


That bony protrusion next to your big toe may not have bothered you thus so far, but the autumn months typically bring an onslaught of patients in with bunion pain. The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine surgeons perform a lot of bunionectomy procedures in the summer months.

bunion pain
It’s the end of summer. Are your bunions aching? Image Source:

“This time of year, people tend to have more time and desire to have elective surgical reconstructive procedures such as bunion and hammertoe correction,” explains Dr. Ryan Minara. With the kids out of school and that last bit of vacation time left, summer is generally a good time to catch up on rest and relaxation during a bunion surgery recovery. “It’s been a busy summer, but we’re expecting the trend to continue into the fall months,” says Dr. Minara. Here’s why…

Closed-Toe Shoes Put Pressure On Bunion Growths

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) tells the story of Elaine Powers, a 49-year-old hospice nurse from South Carolina. In the summer months, like everybody else, she wears open-toe shoes and flip-flop sandals. Then, when the weather starts to cool off, she transitions to closed-toe shoes… and the pain starts. “Even after you take your shoes off, or put your feet up, it’s just a throbbing,” Powers explains. “It’s almost like every time your heart beats, that bunion throbs,” she says.

More Activity Spells More Pain

In the summer time, people are generally busier and spending more time on their feet. “We see moms who spent the previous day waiting in lines at the amusement park with their kids,” explains Dr. Minara. Other bunion sufferers come in shortly after participating in the annual NYC triathlon or following an adventurous vacation. With a heavy activity load, the toe joint swells under pressure. The bursa — a protective fluid-filled sac surrounding the joint — becomes inflame, causing the misaligned joint to feel stiff and painful.

Autumn Is Perceived As A Good Time To Look Into Surgery Options

We also see more patients in the autumn months because it seems like a good time to “hunker down” and recover. Patients are closer to meeting insurance deductibles and there are fewer activities to miss this time of year. “Bunion surgery recovery is really not as bad as people think,” says Dr. Minara. “We try to put people in a walking boot right away. The older procedures required patients to hobble around on crutches for three to six months, but there are a number of newer, less invasive bunion corrections we can do that can have patients back to business-as-usual in as little as six weeks.”

NYC Foot Doctor Advice: What Should You Do About That Painful Bunion?

Many patients respond quite well from mild interventions. Sometimes just avoiding pointy-toe heels and shopping for shoes with a roomier toe box is all one needs to feel well again. Shoe cobblers may be able to stretch shoes to accommodate a bunion. NYC foot doctors can also recommend foam or gel pads, orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications or injections to alleviate the pain. Bunion surgery is the only treatment that addresses the underlying deformity and prevents a worsening of symptoms, though. Book a consultation at our Manhattan or Westchester NY center to discuss your options.



If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.