|Conservative Treatment For Bunion Pain|
Treatment options vary with the type and severity of each bunion, although identifying the deformity early in its development is important in avoiding surgery. Podiatric medical attention should be sought at the first indication of pain or discomfort because, left untreated, bunions tend to get larger and more painful, making nonsurgical treatment less of an option.
The primary goal of most early treatment options is to relieve pressure on the bunion and halt the progression of the joint deformity. A podiatric physician may recommend these treatments:
Padding & Taping
Often the first step in a treatment plan, padding the bunion minimizes pain and allows the patient to continue a normal, active life. Taping helps keep the foot in a normal position, thus reducing stress and pain.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections are often prescribed to ease the acute pain and inflammations caused by joint deformities.
Often used to provide relief of the inflammation and from bunion pain. Ultrasound therapy is a popular technique for treating bunions and their associated soft tissue involvement.
Shoe inserts may be useful in controlling foot function and may reduce symptoms and prevent worsening of the deformity.
When early treatments fail or the bunion progresses past the threshold for such options, podiatric surgery may become necessary to relieve pressure and repair the toe joint. Several surgical procedures are available to the podiatric physician. The surgery will remove the bony enlargement, restore the normal alignment of the toe joint, and relieve pain.
A simple bunionectomy, in which only the bony prominence is removed, may be used for the less severe deformity. Severe bunions may require a more involved procedure, which includes cutting the bone and realigning the joint.
Recuperation takes time, and swelling and some discomfort are common for several weeks following surgery. Pain, however, is easily managed with medications prescribed by your podiatric physician.
- Wear Comfortable Shoes that Conform to the Shape of Your Foot
- Wear Shoes with a Wide and Deep Toe Box
- Always fit the Larger Foot and Have Your Feet Sized Each Time You Purchase Shoes
- Apply a Commercial, Nonmedicated Bunion Pad Around the Bony Prominence
- If Your Bunion becomes Inflamed and Painful, Apply Ice Packs Several Times a Day to Reduce Swelling
- Avoid high-Heeled Shoes Over Two Inches Tall
- Seek Professional Podiatric Evaluation and Assistance with Uncomfortable or Noticeable Bunions
Copyright 2008, American Podiatric Medical Association, Inc.