doctor examining bunion

Bunions can be unsightly, unpleasant, and occasionally crippling. While bunions don’t form overnight, they can develop so slowly that we don’t realize there’s a problem until we’re already in pain. If you think you have a bunion or have been diagnosed with one, it’s important to understand what, exactly, a bunion is.

What Is a Bunion?

Podiatrists and medical practitioners may refer to bunions as hallux valgus. Bunions are a deformity caused by the enlargement of bone or tissue in certain parts of one foot or both. When bone or tissue begins accumulating around the base of your toe—typically the big toe, but sometimes the small toe, too—a noticeable, rounded protrusion will form. This protrusion can be accompanied by pain or difficulty walking.

Sometimes bunions can be caused by arthritis or tight-fitting shoes. Oftentimes, bunions are the result of genetics, although your lifestyle and other pre-existing medical conditions can influence your susceptibility. When you have a bunion, you’ll naturally wonder what can be done to get rid of it.

Treating Bunions Without Surgery

Sometimes you can treat bunions symptoms at home. Your podiatrist might fit with your custom orthotics or special shoes. Orthotics can help cushion your bunion and also have the ability to readjust your weight distribution and gait to either lessen bunion-related pain or curtail a bunion’s development. Since many bunions are caused by arthritis, you may also be prescribed medication for pain and swelling. Your podiatrist may have other recommendations, too. Tight-fitting shoes, such as high heels, are associated with bunion pain and growth. If you wear heels on a regular basis, you may be advised to pack them away. 

Sometimes Surgery Is the Only Solution

However, home treatments and interventions have their limitations. Surgery is the only potentially curative solution for bunions. If you’ve tried orthotics, arthritis medication, and lifestyle changes to no avail, you should talk to your podiatrist and see whether surgery is right for you.

If you have difficulty walking or your bunion pain is interfering with your daily life, you may be a good candidate for bunion surgery. The sort of surgery you will receive depends on where your bunion is located and its stage of growth. Your surgeon might be able to simply shave off the visible bump, or he might have to cut and shift parts of bones or fuse different bones together. At Advanced Foot Care, we also offer Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction surgery which addresses this complex 3D deformity while offering an optimal recovery and long-term stability of the correction.

Your Bunions Won’t Go Away by Themselves

One way or another, bunion pain isn’t something to be ignored. Bunions don’t typically go away on their own, and they may not respond to home treatment. Since bunions can be caused by—or exacerbate—other health conditions, you should consult a podiatrist to see what options are available for you. To discuss your treatment plan, complete our contact form or give us a call today. Your feet carry you through life, and they deserve all the care you can give them.