Do I Have to Get My Bunions Removed?
If you’re having foot pain from a bunion that’s beginning to appear, there are a variety of solutions to try before even thinking of surgery. Many times bunions are hereditary, although some can result from the shoes you wear. Even if your bunions are in your genes, there are remedies to slow their progression and avoid severe discomfort.
It’s important to get treatment early. Left untreated, bunions can lead to foot deformities and additional problems that interfere with walking and daily life. Following are the most effective bunion treatments, ranging from simple home remedies to surgery, which is a last resort.
Home Remedies: Icing and Pain Relievers
Apply an ice pack at the end of a long day to ease discomfort or swelling. Take over-the-counter pain medication for temporary relief; long-term use can damage internal organs and lead to other complications.
Examine your shoe collection. If you have a lot of high heels with pointed toes and wear them every day to work, you may need to give your feet a break. Try saving the stilettos for an occasional night out and give your feet a rest the remainder of the week. Choose shoes with ample width in the toe area. Many stylish shoes now have elastic slits on the sides to allow breathing room for your foot. Open-toed shoes or sandals that have elastic or cloth on the upper part are an option for warm months. You may be able to stop your bunion’s progression by choosing better foot support.
Dr. LaMour examines your walking gait and determines if the way you move is contributing to the bunion. If your gait is a culprit, the shoe inserts you find in stores may cushion your walk, but they won’t correct what’s causing the bunion.
Dr. LaMour may suggest orthotics, which are prescription shoe inserts. In Dr. LaMour’s office, a machine records an impression of your foot. He sends that impression to a lab that makes the orthotics. The orthotic may have extra support for your toe joint; it’s made to help correct your gait and better support your foot.
Dr. LaMour may prescribe daily exercises to keep your joint supple and maintain your flexibility. These are easy to do at home and can even be fun; one example is picking up marbles with your toes.
Dr. LaMour may provide you with a night splint to keep the toe straight at night. At first it may feel odd, but just as with a retainer for your mouth, after a while it feels normal.
Depending on the case, Dr. LaMour may inject cortisone into the joint. Cortisone may provide medium to long-term pain relief. However, without remedying what is causing the bunion, the pain is very likely to recur, and the bunion may progress to a more severe stage.
Surgery is a last resort
If nothing else has helped you, surgery might be required. If your toe is severely deformed and if you’re having pain when you walk, Dr. LaMour performs a bunionectomy.
Many people who need bunion surgery are retirement age or older, having put decades of wear and tear on their feet. Bunions, if untreated, can cause hammertoe and arthritis, exacerbating your foot problems. Surgery corrects the malformation of your big toe, removing the bump. It involves correcting the position of bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.
Call or book an appointment online with Jeffery W. LaMour, DPM, PA for relief from your foot pain today.