Bunions form for many reasons. It could be genetics, or it could be the kind of shoes you wear.
Our team at Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists knows that each bunion is different and requires a customized treatment strategy. If you have a bunion, we want you to know your options and how to treat it at home before resorting to more invasive procedures.
How a bunion can affect you
A bunion is a bony bump that causes a deformity at the base of your big toe. This misalignment can crowd the neighboring toes and force them into abnormal positions. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that bunions can lead to other kinds of foot problems, such as:
- Corns and calluses
- Blisters and sores
- Hammertoe, which is an abnormal bend in one of the middle toes
- Skin and bone infections, especially if you have diabetes or peripheral artery disease
All of these issues can increase your foot pain and make it difficult for you to walk around easily.
Nonsurgical options for treating bunions
If you have a bunion, treatment options other than surgery are available. At Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists, we usually recommend starting with the most conservative treatments.
In many cases, your provider can help you find relief from the pain and pressure of your bunion by suggesting one or more noninvasive treatments. Your treatment plan might include:
- Staying off your feet more than usual
- Icing your bunion regularly
- Wearing comfortable, wide-fitting shoes with a roomy toe box
- Adding padding to your footwear to ease pressure
- Wearing custom-made orthotic inserts to improve distribution of foot pressure
- Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
One or a combination of these treatments may relieve the pain and discomfort of your bunion. However, if your pain continues to worsen, or if you develop a severe deformity, surgery may be your best option.
The surgical process
Surgery sometimes offers the best solution for severe bunions and foot deformities. Your provider examines your bunion and comes up with the best route for you and your health.
Most surgeries include some variation of the following:
- Removing swollen tissue
- Straightening out your big toe
- Realigning the bones in your foot
- Fusing affected joints in your big toe
Bunion surgery is usually minor and has a quick recovery time.
If you need guidance on how best to treat your bunion, call one of our convenient locations, in Bradenton, University Park, and Ellenton, Florida, or book your appointment online today.