Monthly Archives: February 2015

Bunions: Not a Runner’s Problem Anymore

Running with bunions is possible if you properly care for your feet!

What a Pain

Painful bunions can be a problem for anyone, but runners can really struggle with discomfort due to bunions while trying to get in their miles. The good news is that there are things that can help alleviate the discomfort and keep you running. If discomfort cannot be alleviated, it may be time to see a foot doctor, and we are here to help.

If the Shoe Fits…It Makes All the Difference

Probably the most important aspect of minimizing bunion pain is proper shoe fit. A bunion is a prominence at the big toe joint of the foot. As a bunion develops, shoes may start to rub the side of the foot, causing pain and redness. It is important to head to a running store for your next pair of shoes if this is the case. Having a professional fit you for a properly fitting running shoe can make a huge impact on running pain free.

Pad Your Feet for Extra Pain Relief

There are also a number of pads that can be used to protect the foot from rubbing in shoe gear, as well as toe spacers to help realign the big toe. These devices can help, but only if used consistently. Existing shoes can also be taken to a shoe repair store or pedorthic facility for modification to stretch or split the shoe, to provide more room in the toe box. Anti-inflammatory medicines and pain creams can be helpful in reducing pain. (Before you start taking medicines, however, consult a doctor to see what move is best for you.)

We’re Here for You

If, despite all best efforts you continue to have pain, it’s time to visit a podiatrist. We at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center are here to keep you active and pain free. Make an appointment today and let us develop a plan to allow you to keep logging those miles!

To schedule your appointment, call us at (919) 850-9111 or visit our website to Request an Appointment.

I Need Bunion Surgery – Or Do I?

Do I need bunion surgery?

Bunions are bony bumps at the big toe and little joint areas of the foot. Usually, they are an inherited condition that worsens with age. They can be big bunions that do not hurt much, or they can be small bunions that hurt like crazy!

The key to “bunion happiness” is pain control. A goal should not be glamorous beauty, but comfortable walking. Our feet should feel good!

Podiatrists have many treatments to help bunions of all sizes. Of course, low-risk, high-reward treatments are the best starting point: proper footwear, toe splints, custom orthotics, oral and injectable medications, and physical therapy techniques.

Surgical treatment is sometimes necessary for bunions. Surgery is usually performed in a hospital or surgery center by a board-certified podiatrist, under sedation monitored by an anesthesiologist. Patients usually go home the same day, resting and taking pain medication as needed. Time off work and time off your feet will vary for different patients, but most patients can expect to return to normal activities in a few weeks.

Bunions aren’t fun to deal with, and bunion treatment never fits into our busy lives, but getting a plan from your podiatrist is a good starting point. Visit your podiatrist, and you might be pleasantly surprised about what you learn.

To schedule your appointment today, call our office at (919) 850-9111 or visit our website to request an appointment.

Dare to Bare Your Bunions!


Dare to bare your bunions

There may be a few cold spells left this winter, but the warm weather days are within our reach. Once the sun comes out to stay and the days warm up, it will be time to break out the sandals and open-toed shoes. Are you ready for this, or are those bunions on your feet making you want to hide them away forever?

Here’s what you need to know about bunions to help ease your mind:

A bunion is what happens when your big toe begins to move towards the rest of your smaller toes, commonly accompanied by a bump on the inside edge of the big toe. A bunion can often be recognized by red and calloused skin along the bump and swelling of the big toe joint, with stiffness and decreased range of motion. Bunions often cause pain during walking or while wearing tightly fitting shoes.

Bunions can be aggravated by anything from tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes to genetics to the way your foot falls when you walk or run (pronation). So if you have bunions, what can you do about them?

At Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center, we start with a diagnosis: once we have confirmed you have bunions, there are a number of different treatment options, depending on what we (the podiatrists) feel is the best option for your bunion. Depending on the severity of the bunion and the level of pain or discomfort it causes, your options could range from changing shoes or adding orthotic shoe inserts, to using corrective braces and other comfort devices. Sometimes surgery is an option as well, if nothing else has worked and the pain is continuing to cause problems, affecting quality of life. Each method of treatment has proven successful, depending on the individual patient.


Here at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center, we are focused on making sure you, our patient, is the priority: we don’t want you to fear baring your feet in the summer sun simply because of a bunion problem. If you are worried about your bunion, stop worrying and come visit the foot doctors at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center. We’ll make sure your bunions are treated and taken care of!

Wisdom From a Patient

I’ve decided over the last several years that there is a wealth of wisdom in my patients. They each have a story that is sometimes and example of how not to live. More often, however, it is one packed with examples of how to live well and live productively, even without much in the way of resources. How to live a life of value in this community while the odds are stacked against them.


Most of their stories are not of actions in the “cure for cancer” category, but of lives of principle lived quietly, which may have positively affected just a few – or even a single individual. If I didn’t take the time occasionally to stop and get to personally know patients, (despite the ever increasing medical documentation requirements placed on doctors), I would have missed a great deal of wisdom and inspiration. In fact, I sort of regret not starting sooner.


Many of these stories involve long term difficulties or illness. An almost excessively cheerful patient I saw a few years ago was a survivor of the Holocaust as a 6 year old. Her stories were horrifying, so it was hard for me to reconcile her joy with her past. She told me our attitudes are choices, while our circumstances may not be. She chose not to let her past define how she lived her life each day, other than to use the lessons learned effectively. One of my favorite preachers has said that most of us spend too much time listening to ourselves and not enough time talking to ourselves.


I asked her to come in at lunch to speak to our staff, to which she graciously agreed. I think that all of us benefited immensely. She gave us some history, some philosophy, some encouragement, and some advice. What I left with was that one of the most engaging people I’ve ever met came with a story that could have made her bitter, angry, and negative. She’s gone now, but I’m better for having known her.


Dr. Hatcher is one of the podiatrists at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center. The podiatrists at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center are able to help you with all of your foot and ankle problems and needs. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hatcher or one of the other doctors in our office, call our office at (919) 850-9111 or request an appointment on our website.