4 Things to Know Before Getting Bunion Surgery

October 5, 2023
4 Things to Know Before Getting Bunion Surgery

Nearly 33% of Americans experience a bunion at some point in their lives. Bunions are particularly common among older women. For most people, bunions develop over time, and symptoms generally start with stiffness or pain in the big toe. If left untreated, bunions can grow in size, creating a large, painful bump. This will cause the big toe to push against the neighboring toe.  

Bunions are also known as Hallux Valgus deformity. When bunions develop, the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP or MTJ) gets pushed out of alignment. A common form of treatment for bunions is to get bunion surgery. This article will inform the reader about 4 possible treatments to consider before getting bunion surgery.

Treatment Options Before Considering Bunion Surgery

Bunion surgery, also known as a metatarsal osteotomy or bunionectomy, is a popular form of bunion treatment. During bunion surgery, a surgeon will cut the bones in the foot, reposition them, and insert metal secrets to reduce the bump. When done correctly, this should alleviate the pain and make the bunion less visible.

Much like any surgery, bunion surgery should be a last resort. It tends to have a long recovery time and can be quite painful. Here are 4 other forms of treatment to consider before getting bunion surgery.

Regularly Ice Your Bunions

Icing your bunions can help to reduce pain and inflammation in the feet. When you begin to feel soreness in the foot, use ice for 10 minutes each hour. Try to have a thin cloth between your skin and the ice to prevent numbness. 

Try Using Shoe Inserts

Shoe inserts are a popular form of bunion treatment. Utilizing padded shoe inserts can help to put less pressure on your bunions, effectively establishing more balance between your feet. It is possible to find both over-the-counter shoe inserts and prescription orthotic devices. While this may be a good way to manage symptoms, shoe inserts will not heal your bunions.

Try Using Medications 

Similar to shoe inserts, medications unfortunately cannot heal your bunions. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), Naproxen Sodium (Aleve), and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help manage pain due to bunions. If the pain is particularly bad, a doctor may recommend prescription painkillers or cortisone injections. 

Test Different Shoes

Sometimes, the shoes you wear can make bunions worse. For some, choosing more comfortable, spacious shoes can alleviate the pain associated with bunions. Since the big toe area develops a big bump, more spacious shoes are a good way to ease the tension. 

What is a Bunion, and Why Do They Develop?

You may wonder, what is a bunion, and why do I have them? Unfortunately, most people have bunions due to their genetics. It’s common for those predisposed toward bunions to start developing signs in their 20s or 30s. 

While bunions may be genetic, lifestyle factors also play a major role. Those who wear tight shoes and have an occupation that requires constant feet-based physical activity (such as waitressing) can make bunion symptoms worse. High heels and pointy-toed shoes can also play a negative role in the development of bunions. 

Treat Your Bunions at Diablo Foot and Ankle Today

Bunions can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. While some people can manage the pain independently, many people require help from medical professionals. That’s where Diablo Foot and Ankle comes in!

At Diablo Foot and Ankle, our team of nurses and podiatrists can help you get back on your feet quickly. We know how difficult it can be to manage painful bunions. We will evaluate your bunions and devise a treatment plan that works for you.

Don’t wait for your bunions to get worse. Contact Diablo Foot and Ankle today!

Common Podiatry Questions

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.

What does a Podiatrist treat?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.

What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?

A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.

Where are your Podiatry clinics located?

At Diablo Foot & Ankle, we treat our foot and ankle patients in two main clinic locations in Walnut Creek and in Antioch California. Dr. Eman Elmi and Dr. Shayan Esspoor are Board Certified Podiatrists who specialize in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders.

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