Bunion Specialist

Mafutaga S. Tagaloa-Tulifau, D.P.M. -  - Podiatrist

Tagaloa-Tulifau Foot & Ankle Care Center, Inc

Mafutaga S. Tagaloa-Tulifau, D.P.M.

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Lakewood, CA

You may be able to hide a bunion with carefully chosen shoes, but you can’t stop the pain or prevent the bunion from getting larger without proper medical care. Dr. Mafutaga Tagaloa-Tulifau, in Lakewood California, has decades of experience successfully treating bunions with conservative and surgical measures. Contact her practice, Tagaloa-Tulifau Foot & Ankle Center, Inc, or use the online booking feature to schedule an assessment and receive treatment for your bunion.

Bunion Q & A

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bone deformity that develops in the joint at the base of your big toe. The deformity develops slowly as ongoing pressure pushes your big toe into the adjoining toe.  

When pressure continues to bend the toe, bones move out of alignment, and the joint becomes enlarged, leading to a protruding bony bump below the big toe. Without treatment, bunions continue to worsen, and the joint often becomes inflamed and swollen. In severe cases, the big toe may overlap the third toe.


What causes bunions?

While anyone can develop bunions, women are about 8-15 times more likely to have the problem due to their footwear. Bunions are commonly caused by:

  • Wearing shoes with a narrow, pointed toe or high heels
  • Wearing shoes that are too short
  • Having a family history of bunions
  • Having an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis
  • Having a previous foot injury, flat feet or pronated feet


What symptoms develop due to bunions?

Besides the prominent symptom of a visible bump, bunion symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Inflammation and redness around the toe joint
  • Hardened skin on the bottom of your foot
  • Stiffness and limited motion of the big toe
  • Difficulty walking


How are bunions treated?

Before starting treatment, Dr. Tagaloa-Tulifau takes an X-ray to see your bone structure, the extent of bone misalignment, and the amount of damage that may exist in the joint. Using X-rays to determine the severity of your bunion is essential for deciding the best treatment.

The two primary treatment goals, relieving pressure and pain while stopping progressive bunion growth, are accomplished with one or more of the following:

  • Protective padding
  • Shoes fitted to accommodate the bunion
  • Exercise to maintain joint health
  • Orthotic devices to stabilize the joint
  • Splints worn at night to realign the joint (for adolescents)
  • Surgery to remove the bunion and realign the toe

If you have a bunion – whether it’s small and still in the early stage or large enough to cause pain – call Tagaloa-Tulifau Foot & Ankle Center, Inc or book an appointment online. Early treatment can help prevent your bunion from worsening.