feet and shoes

Bunions are delicate, and at times dire, conditions to treat. Surgery can sometimes be the only solution. Bunions not only aggravate and irritate, but they can affect your shoe choice and change the way you walk. This shifts the blow more broadly and affects your whole body. When you’re struggling with bunions, don’t panic. Several treatment options can help ease your pain and discomfort. However, surgery is often the best option for people with bunions.

When should you see a podiatrist or doctor?

If you suspect that you have a bunion, schedule an appointment to see a foot specialist. They can examine your feet and confirm if a bunion will need to be operated on. To determine the severity of the bunion, an ultrasound, x-ray or MRI scan will be required.

When a bunion becomes painful, it has the ability to affect your life in a variety of ways. A bunion that becomes increasingly or extremely painful generally requires surgery. This is typically recommended if:

-The bunion is very painful and getting worse.
-A second toe is affected by the bunion.
-Finding shoes that fit is difficult.
-The bunion has a negative impact on day-to-day life.

If your bunion doesn’t fit into the criteria listed above, private treatment may be the best option. Furthermore, you should see a specialist if:

-You are continually affected by toe pain on either your big or small toe, which is affecting your day to day life
-A noticeable lump is visible on the big or small toe joint
-Your movement or mobility is decreased
-You struggled to find efficiently fitting footwear
-If you have an underlying foot condition or diabetes

Bunion treatment options that don’t involve surgery?

Several options for non-surgical bunions exist to provide relief and pressure relief, but they will not actually help get rid of the bunion. Options include:

It’s important to find shoes that fit both your feet and your lifestyle. Try on ample-fitting footwear in stores with broad toe areas to ensure there is no pressure on the affected area.
Using pads and splints- You can wear a splint or tape the foot to help keep the toes in a normal position overnight while you sleep.
Taking medication- A professional will always advise you on what medication you should take to reduce pain and swelling. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help, as well as cortisone injections. These injections help reduce inflammation in fluid-filled pads that cushion bones.
Cooling or soaking- Relief can be found in the bathtub. Take a warm soak to soothe your muscles and joints. Icing a bunion will reduce soreness and inflammation.

How will a bunion be surgically treated?

Surgery is an option for correcting bunions, depending on several factors. Certain factors, like the level of deformity and severity of symptoms, will determine which procedure is best and can vary from person to person. There is no one-size-fits-all surgery for bunions.

However, surgery will often follow these steps:

-The cutting away of any swollen tissue around the toe joint
-The removal of part of the bone to help straighten the toe
-The realignment and straitening of the long bone connecting to the back of the foot and the toe
-Fusing the bones of the toe joint

Recovery from bunion surgery can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. In some cases, recovery can happen immediately. To avoid having a bunion again, make sure you wear appropriate shoes after the surgery. If you are suffering from a bunion and could benefit from a foot examination, don’t hesitate to book an appointment and we will put that spring back in your step.