The bulge at the side of your big toe known as a bunion is a common issue. In fact, up to one-third of adults in the United States develop at least one.
You may be genetically prone to bunions or have certain traits, like flat feet, that make them more likely. Regardless of the cause, treatment for any pain you experience can go far.
At Foot and Ankle Care of Passaic in Lodi, New Jersey, podiatrist Dr. Sean Rosenblum and his expert team provide comprehensive care for common foot problems, including bunions.
Take a few minutes to learn more about this condition, including signs surgery may be in order.
Nonsurgical bunion treatments
Whenever possible, we aim to use conservative treatments to reduce bunion pain. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, we may recommend nonsurgical steps, such as:
- Using bunion pads within your shoes
- Switching to shoes with roomier toe boxes
- Trading high heels for flatter, more supportive shoes
- Wearing shoe inserts
- Using custom orthotics, which can help keep your toe in a straighter form
- Partaking in toe exercises, such as stretches
You can also reduce bunion pain with a gently applied ice pack during flare-ups. Place a paper towel or thin cloth between the ice and your skin, applying the pack for 10-20 minutes at a time.
Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may also help when you have bunion pain.
Signs you may need bunion surgery
Bunion surgery is intended for more severe and long lasting bunion issues that don’t respond sufficiently to gentler treatments.
Signs you may be a candidate for bunion surgery include:
- Excruciating pain
- Pain that makes walking difficult or impossible
- Bunion complications, such as arthritis, bursitis, hammertoe, or metatarsalgia
- Lost flexibility in your toe
- Severe inflammation
- Overly crowded toes, because of the bunion
If any of these signs apply to you, your provider can help determine your best course of treatment by way of a comprehensive exam.
Different types of bunion surgery
If surgery seems like your best option, Dr. Rosenblum and his team may recommend one
of the following types of bunion surgery:
- Arthrodesis, which removes arthritic areas
- Exostectomy, which removes the “lump” of your bunion by shaving down the joint base
- Osteotomy, which cuts the joint and then realigns it
- Resection arthroplasty, which removes damaged areas to increase space between your toe bones
Some people can walk immediately following bunion surgery, but full recovery may take anywhere from weeks to months. And after your surgery, you need to wear appropriate shoes to prevent a recurrence. Generally speaking, that means no more ultra narrow or high-heeled shoes.
To learn more about bunion treatment or get the care you need, call Foot and Ankle Specialty Centers today or schedule an appointment using our online booking feature.