When Is Your Bunion Severe Enough To Require Surgery?

When Is Your Bunion Severe Enough To Require Surgery?

24 August 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Bunions impact over 100 million Americans, making this a relatively common condition. Bunion progression is often controllable, so doctors rarely recommend surgery as a first action. In many cases, a bunion may not require surgery at all, especially if the bunion isn't causing any pain or additional mobility issues.

The good news is that these treatment options are often non-invasive and may simply involve changing footwear or using special shoe inserts. However, bunions can worsen over time, eventually causing more issues and even debilitating pain. Understanding how bunions progress and when symptoms warrant surgical intervention can be important to avoid unnecessary pain and lost mobility.

Bunion Progression Explained

Many common misconceptions exist about what a bunion is or how bunions progress. Bunions aren't growths but a misalignment of the bones in your tones. The initial protrusion results from the bone at the joint of your big toe protruding outward. As the bunion progresses, this misalignment will cause irritation and inflammation, resulting in more severe swelling.

Bunions can develop and progress for numerous reasons, from genetics to physical problems caused by ill-fitting shoes. Regardless of the initial cause, bunions will tend to progress as the joint on your big toe moves and flexes as you walk. Bunions will almost always worsen unless you take corrective action, and some bunions may worsen even with corrective footwear.

Understanding Bunion Symptoms

Bunion symptoms can be surprisingly varied. Relatively mild bunions may not produce any pain, in which case surgery is often an unnecessary treatment option. If you notice a bunion developing on your foot without any associated pain or mobility issues, you should still contact a podiatrist for an evaluation. Quick action can help stop or slow the progression of your bunion and avoid more severe symptoms.

However, bunion symptoms can be far more impactful as the condition worsens. Stiffness and pain can make simple activities (such as walking) challenging, and corrective footwear may eventually stop providing enough relief. You may also notice your big toe "drifting" across your other toes, leading to additional pain and discomfort when wearing shoes.

When to Consider Surgery

Surgery may be an option worth considering once your bunion begins to affect your daily life. Your podiatrist may also consider surgery when other options no longer provide sufficient relief. Bunion surgery isn't always a complete solution, and you may still need to continue to use orthotics to control or relieve your bunion, but it can help significantly.

The good news is that bunion surgery can often greatly reduce pain, and wearing the correct shoes or special orthotics after your surgery can help prevent your bunion from returning. In cases where other options fail to provide enough relief, bunion surgery can be a great way to get back to enjoying your life without potentially debilitating foot pain.

Talk to a doctor to learn more about bunion surgery.

About Me
Understanding Podiatry Concerns

After I started focusing more and more on my overall health, I realized that there were a few challenges I was up against. For starters, I realized that I needed to take better care of my feet, since they had been causing me problems for quite some time. It was pretty nerve-wracking to go do the doctor at first, but before I knew it, I was able to get in, have my feet inspected, and start getting fitted for orthotics that would help. I wanted to create a blog all about understanding podiatry concerns, so that other people could make positive changes too.