Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute: Podiatrists (2024)

Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute: Podiatrists (1)

Bunions can be incredibly painful and take the joy out of life in a hurry. Day-to-day life with bunions may make you feel like you have no choice but to seek out a surgeon. However, you have many other options to try before it’s necessary to schedule foot surgery.

Our team at Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute -- with locations in Chesterfield, Clinton Township, Fort Gratiot, East China Township, Shelby Township, and Rochester, Michigan -- can recommend many conservative treatments to help resolve your bunions without resorting to surgery.

Bunions 101

Bunions are a joint problem. When the two bones that meet at the base of your big toe are misaligned, the connective tissue in the joint becomes inflamed. Fluid builds up in the bursa, or pocket around the joint. The causes swelling, and any pressure on the joint can cause more pain and more swelling. You can also get bunions on the outside joint of your little toe.; these are called bunionettes.

Where bunions come from

Bunions often run in families, because the shape and structure of feet is hereditary, so you may notice your feet look a lot like one parent or the other. If you have low arches, flat feet, or loose joints and tendons, you’ll have an increased risk of bunions.

You can also have a higher chance of getting bunions if you wear shoes that are too narrow with a pointy toe, or if you have an inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis.

Nonsurgical treatments for bunions

In most cases, bunions can be treated nonsurgically. One of the podiatrists from our team can examine your bunion(s) and recommend a conservative treatment which includes one or more of the following:

  • Custom shoe orthotics (inserts) that relieve pressure on the joint and align your weight in a more beneficial way.
  • Padding, taping, or splinting your feet to take pressure off the joint and allow the inflammation to go down.
  • Changes in footwear to a shoe that helps prevent pressure, pain, or inflammation of your toe joints.
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the foot and correct your posture for better positioning of your feet when walking or standing.
  • Pain medications and anti-inflammatories to help bring down swelling and reduce pain while implementing more permanent strategies.

Our team will only bring up surgery if these strategies fail. If you’re ready to explore nonsurgical bunion treatment, contact one of our many convenient locations by phone or book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute: Podiatrists (4)

5 Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

Diabetes increases your risk for foot problems, especially infections. Left untreated, these issues can cause serious complications. Learn more about how to protect your feet.

Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute: Podiatrists (6)

Avoid These Foods If You Have Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect any joint in your body. One thing you may not know is that eating certain foods can increase your chances of suffering gout attacks. Read on to learn why gout develops and the foods you should avoid.

Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute: Podiatrists (7)

What to Do About Foot Calluses

Foot calluses are hard spots of skin that may appear on your heels or other parts of your feet. Read on to learn about what to do about foot calluses.

Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute: Podiatrists (2024)


Is there a difference between a podiatrist and a foot and ankle specialist? ›

A foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon performs complex surgical procedures, not performed by a podiatrist. There can be some overlap in what a podiatrist treats and what an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist treats such as the simpler conditions of sprains and strains.

Is it better to have foot surgery by a podiatrist or an orthopedic surgeon? ›

Both podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons are qualified to treat foot and ankle conditions, surgically and non-surgically. In general, the best bet is to choose the doctor you feel the most comfortable with, or who has the most experience treating your particular condition.

What is the most common problem treated by a podiatrist? ›

Common problems that podiatrists treat include bunions, heel pain, ingrown toenails, and athlete's foot. Treatment methods used by podiatrists can vary depending on the specific condition but often include things like orthotic devices, braces, or surgery.

What is the best doctor for foot issues? ›

As a general rule, if foot pain is your only issue, a podiatrist is a great choice. If you have pain all throughout your body, such as the neck and back, you should see an orthopedic doctor. If you can find a doctor that is trained in both orthopedics and podiatry, that is much better in the long run.

What is higher than a podiatrist? ›

The truth is that foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons have the most comprehensive training available for nonsurgical treatment options and have the highest level of qualifications to diagnose the root cause of any foot or ankle problem.

Should I see a podiatrist or orthotist? ›

While podiatrists focus on lower limb health, orthotics cover the entire body. Orthotics involves devices such as braces, compression garments, insoles, custom orthotic devices and orthotic footwear. People with medical conditions, disabilities, and injuries benefit greatly from orthoses.

What is the downside to foot surgery? ›

Complications of foot and ankle surgery can include infections, swelling and stiffness, and wound haematoma (bleeding). If you're generally healthy the risk of a serious complication from an operation is very small. Every possible care is taken to prevent complications, but in a few cases these do happen.

Who is the best foot and ankle surgeon in the US? ›

Dr. Alan MacGill, Named One of U.S.'s Top Foot & Ankle Surgeons in 2020 by BECKER'S - Spine & Orthopedic Center.

Do podiatrists use local anaesthetic? ›

Although many foot pathologies seen at our Practice can be treated effectively and painlessly without the need for local anaesthesia some pathologies will require the affected area to be numbed prior to treatment.

What are 7 common foot problems? ›

Treat conditions such as: bone disorders, bunions, corns, calluses, cysts, heel spurs, infections, ingrown nails, and plantar fasciitis.

Can a podiatrist treat poor circulation in feet? ›

If you have poor foot circulation, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can determine the cause and help you manage this condition. While poor circulation itself isn't a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have.

What is the most common foot abnormality? ›

Jason Grossman and Dr. Paul A. Osem*ne, is an expert in treating these conditions and the discomfort they can cause. Two of the most common foot and ankle deformities are bunions and hammertoes.

What is metatarsalgia of the foot? ›

Metatarsalgia (met-uh-tahr-SAL-juh) is a condition in which the ball of your foot becomes painful and inflamed. You might develop it if you participate in activities that involve running and jumping. There are other causes as well, including foot deformities and shoes that are too tight or too loose.

Can a podiatrist diagnose a foot problem? ›

Podiatrists can diagnose and treat any issues that affect your feet, ankles and lower legs — including performing surgery.

Who treats tendonitis of the foot? ›

Foot or ankle tendonitis is diagnosed under the care of your primary care provider, podiatrist, orthopedist or sports medicine physician.

Can a podiatrist help with ankle issues? ›

A doctor of podiatric medicine is a medical professional who treats patients who are experiencing problems with their feet, ankles, and/or related structures of the leg. These particular areas of the body require expert care due to the important role these body parts play in a patient's everyday life.

What is the difference between the ankle and the foot? ›

The ankle is the joint that connects your foot to your lower leg. Healthcare providers sometimes refer to it as the tibiotalar joint or the talocrural joint. Like all joints, your ankles are part of your skeletal system. Your ankles also contain cartilage, muscles, ligaments and nerves.

What is another name for a podiatrist or foot doctor? ›

Podiatrists treat everything from bunions to infected toenails, and patients are guaranteed to receive the best answer for their foot problems from a podiatrist. But there is another term that many people – particularly older patients – still use for foot doctors: chiropodist.

Do podiatrists look after ankles? ›

You should see a podiatrist if you feel pain or have problems with your feet, ankles or lower limbs such as discoloured skin/nails, skin rashes, foot odour, foot ulcers or foot injuries. It is also good to see a podiatrist if you have diabetes, arthritis or tripping and falling issues.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Melvina Ondricka

Last Updated:

Views: 5793

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Melvina Ondricka

Birthday: 2000-12-23

Address: Suite 382 139 Shaniqua Locks, Paulaborough, UT 90498

Phone: +636383657021

Job: Dynamic Government Specialist

Hobby: Kite flying, Watching movies, Knitting, Model building, Reading, Wood carving, Paintball

Introduction: My name is Melvina Ondricka, I am a helpful, fancy, friendly, innocent, outstanding, courageous, thoughtful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.