The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Why We Love Bunions (And You Should Too!)

Posted by on Friday, September 5th, 2014


By their clinical definition, bunions are bony protrusions on the side of the big toe — deformities caused, largely, by heredity and exacerbated by wearing uncomfortable shoes. These days, the news is ripe with headlines about people who are undergoing “Cinderella foot surgery” to have the “perfect” foot. The message is: You can have it all!

Our job at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine is to alleviate your bunion pain, first and foremost. Next, we work to treat the underlying factors that gave rise to your foot pain. We can surgically repair a bunion for cosmetic purposes, but we prefer to reserve operations when pain is present, or when the bunion is so large the patient has trouble walking and finding shoes that fit. Our job is not to counsel you in matters of self-esteem, but we find that the mental aspects of bunions are important to consider.

Don’t let bunions get you down. Image Source:

Studies Say Bunions Are A Real Bummer…

Studies published in Arthritis Care & Research, Osteoarthritis & Cartilage, and the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research found that roughly a third of Americans will develop bunions, but many of these people suffer from low self-esteem and diminished enjoyment of life. The main quality of life issue faced is that people with bunions can’t wear the types of shoes they want to wear. They can find orthopedic shoes they can get into, but that doesn’t work for most professional or social situations. As the bunions progress, people feel self-conscious about wearing open-toed sandals, flip-flops, or going barefoot. In the worst cases, physical activities become limited. Some patients can only go out for 30 minutes at a time before the pain starts.

Songwriter Fiona Apple Says, “So What?”

Another way of looking at it is to see bunions as something that makes us human. Everyone has some sort of physical attribute they aren’t crazy about — whether it’s a big nose, thick thighs, unmanageable hair, a pot belly, an unflattering mole, or a bunion. Songwriter Fiona Apple was once asked to model for music magazine Pitchfork — until they found out she had bunions. She allegedly told the magazine she would only stay until 8 p.m. if they would publish a photo of her baring everything — bunions and all — “so that other girls can see [her] bunions and not feel bad about theirs.” The magazine refused.  Other celebrities with bunions include Angelina Jolie, Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell, Kate Middleton, Katie Holmes, and more. Is it really such a big deal?

Should You Get Bunion Surgery?

Bunion surgery is possible if you are in good health. Yet, recovery can be particularly long (like three months long!) and difficult if you are already feeling depressed about your bunions. Instead, try thinking of your bunion in a different way. Here are five reasons we love bunions (and you should too):

1. They prevent us from stiletto-induced broken ankles!

2. They protect us from foot fetish perverts!

3. They are not contagious or infectious. (Better to have bunions than foot fungus, right?!)

4. They create a bond with our mothers and our mothers’ mothers.

5. They show others what a sacrifice we’ve made to fashion in the past, just like all the celebrities before us.

We let our patients know that bunions aren’t the end of the world. In fact, they are terribly common! Twenty-three percent of people under 65 and 36 percent of people over 65 have bunions. We’ll counsel you on all the options available to you. The good news is that most bunions can be stopped dead in their tracks without resorting to surgery. Contact our NYC podiatrist office for more information.



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.