Bunions | Hallux Valgus
These tips may provide relief from a bunion:
- Apply a nonmedicated bunion pad around the bony bump.
- If a bunion becomes inflamed or painful, apply an ice pack two to three times daily to help reduce swelling.
- Wear shoes with a wide and deep toe box.
- Avoid shoes with heels higher than 6 centimeters.
See your doctor if pain persists.
Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your bunion and the amount of pain it causes you. Early treatment is best to decrease your risk of developing joint deformities.
Nonsurgical treatments that may relieve the pain and pressure of a bunion include:
- Changing shoes. Wear roomy, comfortable shoes that provide plenty of space for your toes.
- Padding and taping. Your doctor can help you tape and pad your foot in a normal position. This can reduce stress on the bunion and alleviate your pain.
- Medications. Paracetamol can control the pain of a bunion. Your doctor may suggest nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or for relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Cortisone Steroid injections also can be helpful.
- Shoe inserts. Padded shoe inserts (orthotics) can help control abnormal movement of your foot, reducing your symptoms and preventing your bunion from getting worse. Over-the-counter arch supports can provide relief for some people, though others may require prescription orthotics.
If conservative treatment doesn't provide relief from your symptoms, you may need surgery. A number of surgical procedures are performed available, and no particular surgery is best for every problem. Knowing what caused your bunion is essential for choosing the best procedure to ensure correction without recurrence. Most surgical procedures include a bunionectomy, which involves:
- Removing the swollen tissue from around your big toe joint
- Straightening your big toe by removing part of the bone
- Realignment of the metatarsal bone to reduce angular deformity
- Permanently joining the bones of your affected joint
It's possible you may be able to walk on your foot immediately after some bunion procedures, but with others, full recovery can take up to eight weeks or longer. To prevent a recurrence, you'll need to wear proper shoes after recovery.
Surgery isn't recommended unless a bunion causes you frequent pain or interferes with your daily activities. A bunionectomy — like other types of surgery — is not without risk. Additionally, you may still have pain or you could develop a new bunion in your big toe joint after surgery. Consider trying conservative treatment before having a bunionectomy.