Conservative care and surgical correction are the two main treatment options for bunions. Read on to see which treatment option is right for you.
What is a bunion? A bunion is a deviation of the big toe joint where the great toe otherwise known as the first toe moves inward towards the second. A joint is where two bones come together.
Typically the 2 bones are straight and move on each other like a hinge on the door. When the two bones at the joint bend you have a deviation of the joint. If you look at your elbow and straighten it you have the big toe joint. Now bend your elbow, and this is what happens in the big toe.
The big toe is built to move up and down. Over time, if it isn’t straight in your shoes, or for other reasons, it moves at angles it wasn’t intended to. That can cause pain in the affected joint.
A bony bump can appear and enlarge over time, and it’s this lump that tends to cause the actual bunion pain.
What are the causes of bunions?
Bunions can be caused by:
- Hereditary or genetics — the basic foot type that you inherit.
- Activity with stress and strain through the joint.
- You wear high heels, pointy shoes, or shoes that don’t fit correctly.
What are some bunion symptoms?
Symptoms of bunions include:
- Pain in the big toe joint, as well as a bump
- Redness, warmth, and irritation on the bump
- Foot Pain in the ball of the foot or arch
- Toe pain in the big toe joint or lesser toes
What Are Your Treatment Options for Bunion? How can You Get Rid of Your Bunion?
There are two main options a podiatrist may recommend.
The first is conservative (or nonsurgical) care, and the second is a surgical correction. Conservative care will not correct a bunion but may provide bunion relief and reduce foot pain.
Conservative Treatment for Bunions
You can mitigate bunions by taking the following measures:
- Change your shoes. Wear a supportive sneaker or supportive sandals.
- Use orthotic shoe inserts. Orthotics go into a shoe and help control the mechanics of the foot and joint alignment. This can slow the progression of the bunion and help to decrease pain.
- Injections. If you develop an arthritic flare with inflammation including a red hot and swollen big toe joint, cortisone & steroid injections or oral anti-inflammatories can be utilized. Generally, it’s not recommended to inject cortisone into the deviated bunion. The reason for this is that while steroid injections work very well in the short term to decrease pain and inflammation, the cortisone crystals stay in the joint and can break down the soft tissue. This can actually make the bunion worse over time.
- Protein Rich Plasma (PRP) or amnion stem cells can also decrease inflammation but will not reverse the bunion.
- Over-the-counter splints will not correct the position either but may decrease any muscle spasm that one can have.
Bunion Removal & Bunion Surgery
Bunion Surgery correction includes realigning the first metatarsal bone and the big toe. The doctor will perform x-ray or scanning modalities to evaluate the structures and position of the foot and perform a procedure that is most appropriate to realign the position of the big toe joint.
Most often a bone cut is made in the first metatarsal and a screw is used to fix the position. Healing for this can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks depending on how severe the condition is.
Some people who have bunions never have pain. If your bunion isn’t painful, it’s very possible you may not need bunion surgery.
However, if it starts to interfere with the activities you like to perform and the shoes you like to wear, consider bunion treatment in Boca Raton, or in Boynton Beach. We’d be happy to help!