At first, a bunion is usually nothing more than an annoyance. You might not like the way that bony bump on the outside of your big toe looks, or you might notice that it rubs against certain shoes.
But those relatively minor inconveniences can grow as that misalignment in the base of your big toe joint worsens. Walking and standing may cause pain. And, you could end up with complications like hammertoe.
Ultimately, because bunions can worsen over time, you will likely reach a point at which you want a solution. But does that mean surgery? Not necessarily.
Here at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle in Roanoke and Decatur, Texas, Samantha Childers, DPM, and Ricky Childers, DPM, can help you understand your treatment options. You have plenty of paths to explore before we recommend bunion surgery. As bunion specialists, we can help you find a solution for your feet — and we’ll never suggest surgery until we’ve tried more conservative options.
Surgery-free bunion treatment
A lot of people find relief from their bunion symptoms by simply changing their footwear, especially if you make this adjustment early enough in the bunion’s progression. Choosing shoes with a roomy toe box prevents the bunion from rubbing, which worsens the inflammation in that area of your foot. We also recommend steering clear of high-heeled shoes.
If you’re still experiencing discomfort after changing shoes, we can explore adding orthotics, padding, and splinting. We tailor these treatments to your foot with the goal of providing the toe joint the support and cushioning it needs to function at its best.
We might also recommend anti-inflammatory medications to soothe the bunion as we explore these conservative treatment options.
If you’re still not walking comfortably after all of this, we can look into surgery.
When you should choose bunion surgery
We might recommend bunion surgery for you if these other treatment options don’t bring relief or you’re having specific foot problems. If your big toe is drifting inward over your other toes or is stiff to the point that you can’t bend it, for example, it’s likely time to explore bunion surgery.
This specialized type of surgery — called a bunionectomy — has advanced significantly in recent years. Today, your bunionectomy can be tailored to what your individual foot needs. It’s also an outpatient procedure, meaning you should be able to return home a few hours after your surgery.
Most people get back to their usual activities 6-12 weeks after bunion surgery. And, because the deformity in your toe joint has been corrected, you’ll be able to resume your daily life with a much higher level of comfort as you stand and walk.
Still, you have several treatment options you can explore to treat your bunion before you look into surgery. To start figuring out how to bring relief to your foot, call our team at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle or send an online message to one of our offices today.