As Philadelphia area foot and ankle specialists, we see every imaginable foot and ankle problem each year. And one of the most common is the bunion. If you suffer from this condition, you know just how much trouble it can be.

Even though numerous bunion treatments exist, time after time we see patients who have waited for years to get help. Many of these people say that they simply thought nothing could be done and that surgery doesn’t work.

This is not true! In fact, there are many effective treatments to deal with the pain, pressure and even the unsightly appearance of bunions. There are two basic categories of bunion treatment: surgical and non-surgical.

Non-Surgical Bunion Treatment Options

Non-surgical treatment is aimed at relieving the symptoms of bunions, particularly the pain and pressure, without the invasive nature of surgery. Non-surgical treatments are effective in most cases. These treatment options include:

  • Finding comfortable shoes to wear: There needs to be plenty of toe space in your shoes. By wearing shoes that fit correctly, you can reduce the pain. Don't go by the size, go by the the way they fit, and always watch where the shoe flexes on your foot.
  • Learning how to tape and pad your feet: The idea behind this is to put your foot into a more normal position by changing the way it is padded. You may need a professional custom-casted orthotic to help slow the progression of feet that begin to change in a negative way.
  • Using padded shoe inserts: They can regulate the pressure when you walk and help you to move more freely. This reduces pain and sometimes even keeps the bunions from worsening. A good podiatrist can help you find the best orthotic devices for your feet.
  • Using medication: A short-term solution, oral or topical anti-inflammatory medications can help with moderate pain and inflammation. Steroid injections might be prescribed for more severe pain.

Surgical Bunion Treatment Options

When non-surgical options do not achieve adequate relief from the symptoms of your progressive bunion deformity, your doctor might recommend surgery. Here are some basic facts about bunion surgery that you need to know:

  • Bunion surgery is known as a “bunionectomy.” It is not just “bump removal.”
  • There are many types of surgical corrections for bunion surgery.  The main goal is to correct the alignment of the big toe joint by removing the bony growth, moving the first metatarsal in and the the great toe straight.
  • The degree of deformity, bone quality, age, and type of bunion are all considered in deciding which type of surgery to perform, and which is the best for you. Bunion surgery is personal and individual process performed between the foot doctor and the patient.
  • Full recovery from bunion surgery may take over three months, although most patients will be able to walk in the first week.
  • The majority of patients walk and are done on the same day as the surgery.

No matter what, you should have your bunions evaluated by a foot specialist . This is the only way you will know exactly what works best for you.

Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates has provided bunion relief in the Philadelphia tri-state area for 25 years. We are proud of our reputation for caring, expert podiatry. Call us today at one of our two offices. In Media, call 610-565-3668; in Phoenixville, 610-933-8644. We look forward to meeting you and getting you back in the game.