Skip to main content


What Type of Doctor Does Bunion Surgery?

Posted June 11, 2024 in Bunion Pain

dr examinating on patient leg in clinic.

This blog discusses the benefits of choosing a foot specialist, or a podiatrist, over other branches of medicine for your bunion care, what to expect from a consultation for bunion surgery, and how Chelsea Foot & Ankle offers exceptional care to their patients.

4 Min Read:

Do I Have to See a Podiatrist for My Bunions?

If you’ve noticed some lingering pain, redness, or a bulge around your big toe joint and realize you may have a bunion–it’s important to get care quickly, but what kind of doctor is best? You have a few options, but it’s usually best to see a specialist, even with a foot ailment as common as a bunion. 

Podiatrist vs. Orthopedist for Bunion Surgery

A bunion is formed when the first metatarsal-phalangeal joint or first MTP joint at the base of the big toe becomes misaligned, often due to pressure from tight or narrow shoes. What looks like a bulge protruding from the base of the big toe is the joint pressing outwards, and it can be a source of great pain and discomfort. 

So, who do you see when this bony protrusion appears: an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist? 

Both are medical and surgical specialties that can and often do treat bunions. However, there are some slight differences in the focus of these physicians. An orthopedic surgeon deals with body bones, muscles, ligaments, and joints. A podiatrist treats the feet and ankles. 

So, while an orthopedic surgeon is trained to assess and treat the functions of the feet and ankles insofar as they deal with the joints, ligaments, and bones, a podiatrist comes from a much more extensive background in foot injuries. A podiatrist’s schooling is dedicated entirely to the feet and ankles. Hence, their education is much more robust than that of an orthopedic surgeon, whose education must encompass the entirety of the musculoskeletal system throughout the body. 

While an orthopedic surgeon can and may adequately diagnose and treat your bunion, only a podiatrist can apply their specialized knowledge and provide more nuanced care. 

Choosing the Best NYC Podiatrist

If you think you need bunion surgery, it’s important to choose the right podiatrist. Leaving a bunion for too long means you risk your condition worsening: the first joint can lean toward the second toe, cramping it and causing further debilitation. A prolonged bunion case can result in a loss of mobility, arthritis, and long-term issues. 

Chelsea Foot & Ankle is a comprehensive podiatric office in the heart of NYC, led by our experienced and compassionate podiatric expert, Dr. Ethan Ciment. After years of medical training and experience working in different podiatry practices, Dr. Ciment brought his comprehensive knowledge of the full spectrum of podiatric care and opened Chelsea Foot & Ankle, where he and his team are dedicated to providing patient-centered, conservative care. 

From consultation to examination to surgery, Dr. Ciment is with his patients every step of the way. With an intimate understanding of podiatric care from all angles, including diabetic foot care, sports medicine, lower extremity wound care, and child podiatry, Dr. Ciment and his team are prepared to offer the best possible care with your needs as the number one priority.  

What Can I Expect From a Bunion Consultation?

At Chelsea Foot & Ankle, we take a conservative approach to foot care whenever possible. This means that we will try other non-surgical approaches to bunion care, for example, before we suggest moving forward with surgery. 

When you come in for your first visit with Dr. Ciment, he will listen to your concerns and symptoms before examining your foot and bunion. He will need to see how far your bunion has progressed in order to make recommendations for care. If your bunion is severe, he may agree that surgery is your best bet, in which case you can make arrangements for the procedure. 

If your bunion is in the early stages, he may suggest conservative approaches such as: 

  • Swapping your shoes for something more supportive and less restrictive
  • Special pads that can provide more support to your feet and take the pressure off the joint
  • Custom orthotics to prevent over-flattening of the foot, which can exacerbate bunions

Interested in Podiatric Bunion Care in NYC?

Don’t leave your foot care up to chance; choose a specialist to ensure you get the best possible care. 

If you think you have a bunion, need a podiatric opinion about your bunion, or want to find a comprehensive podiatrist for a variety of common foot issues, call Chelsea Foot & Ankle today at (646) 929-4149 or fill out our online contact form to get started. 

Get in Touch

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


37 W 20th St Suite #308
New York, NY 10011

Get Directions