Valley Foot Care, Inc.

All About Bunion

Do I have a bunion and how can it be treated?

Having a bunion can be a painful and frustrating foot condition in which a bump of bone builds up near the big toe joint. This same thing can occur near the small toe and is called a bunion.

If left unchecked, this can be a source of great pain and discomfort, interfering with daily activities and at times complete avoidance of activities all together can occur.

Bunions can be aggravated by shoe pressure and the pain can vary from a dull ache to sharp shooting pains. Prior to surgery, simple conservative measures should be tried first.

Shoe gear tips include wearing shoes that are more rounded in the toes and shoes with more relaxed materials that float over the boney prominence, avoiding pressure and irritation. Shoes that are pointed with taper should also be avoided. At times, a shoe that is slightly taller in the toes or has a roomier toe box can provide relief.

Additional care may include short-term use of topical or oral anti-inflammatories, provided an individual medical history does not have reasons why these medications should be avoided, such as a history of drug allergies, stomach ulcers, or liver or kidney problems.

In the author’s opinion and experience, custom arch supports should be used in the treatment plan with or without surgery to either slow the growth of the bunion or prevent its recurrence after surgery.

Prior to surgery, it is good to discuss with your surgeon the post-operative recovery. It is important to discuss weight-bearing restrictions that may affect one’s ability to carry out daily activities. While surgical complications are rare, they can occur. Risks may include infection, bone healing issues, blood clots and chronic pain syndromes. It is a great idea to discuss potential post-operative risks with your surgeon so that there are no surprises after surgery. Being well informed goes a long way towards one’s healing and well being

Should one decide to pursue surgical treatment, look for ways to enhance recovery:

  • Avoid tobacco completely
  • Take Multiple Vitamins
  • Tell your doctor about all supplements
  • Ask family to be ready to help
  • Establish a good support team for recovery
  • Know your employer’s policies on time off