When Should You Seek Treatment For A Bunion?

A bunion forms when the metatarsal bone points outward and the big toe shifts inward in the direction of the second toe. According to Dr. Brandon Holloway of Amarillo Foot Specialists it is a condition that slowly gets worse over time. Bunions can occur for a number of reasons, but they are most commonly hereditary.

Treatment Options for Bunions

Bunions are quite common, but if left untreated, they can cause a great deal of pain. There are a number of ways to treat a bunion. Some non-surgical options are available when the malformation is still in its early stages. Custom devices can correctly position the foot, while minimizing the extra pressure being put on the big toe joint where the bunion has formed.

Some patients have found that wearing shoes with a wider toe-box, and not wearing high heels, helps ease the discomfort. This conventional treatment is meant to help the patient be more comfortable, while decelerating the progression of the deformity.

The only way to fix the bunion deformity is via surgery. The procedure involves severing the first metatarsal bone and relocating it to the correct position. There are over 100 different surgical procedures that can be used to fix a bunion and the best procedure for you will depend on your foot mechanics.

When to Seek Treatment for Bunions

Bunions can create a fair amount of discomfort for some people, while causing no pain to others. Everyone has a unique foot structure and how your bunion looks doesn’t always affect when it needs treatment. 

Signs that your bunion may need treatment include:

  • You are reducing your activities due to pain from the bunion.

  • You can no longer find comfortable shoes.

  • You have arthritic changes in the joint, which is visible on an x-ray.

How the joint appears on the x-ray and performs during the physical exam can reveal a great deal about your foot. When the joint is not properly aligned, cartilage can be damaged from the bone ends hitting or rubbing.

If your bunion has arthritic changes and you wait too long to seek treatment, the cartilage loss can be significant. This damage will reduce the number of available options for alleviating your pain and can create the need for an implant or fusion.

Our goal at Amarillo Foot Specialists is to provide expert treatment for your bunions and other foot and ankle problems so you can maintain - or attain - a healthy, active lifestyle. If you are experiencing pain from a bunion or other issue, call our office today to schedule a consultation and let’s get you pain-free!