Hallux valgus 一 more commonly known as a bunion 一 is a bony bump that develops when your first metatarsal shifts out of place. This causes your big toe to lean inward. Bunions can develop slowly, but over time these bony bumps can contribute to pain, swelling, and redness on your big toe.
We know that bunions make simple tasks, such as putting on shoes, uncomfortable. That’s why our team of specialists at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan, offer a variety of bunion treatments from custom orthotics to medications to surgery.
But how do you know when it’s time to pause the conservative treatments and commit to surgery? That’s the question our team is here to answer.
Are conservative treatments enough to treat bunions?
For many people, conservative treatments can be enough to alleviate bunion pain. This is especially true because bunions develop slowly. At first, you might only need orthotics to help take pressure off of your metatarsophalangeal joint.
Other conservative treatments include medications to reduce pain and address inflammation, wearing moleskin pads to protect the skin over your joint, wearing gel-filled cold compresses to reduce swelling, sleeping in splints, and choosing shoes with plenty of room in the toe box.
5 signs it’s time for bunion surgery
Even with the right shoes and conservative treatment, bunions don’t go away. Unfortunately, this means that if your bunion is starting to cause more and more discomfort, surgery might be the best path forward.
You might consider bunion surgery if:
- Normal conservative treatments no longer provide enough relief
- Pain isn’t new and you’ve had it for a quite a while
- Your bunion prevents you from participating in your favorite activities
- Normal, everyday activities are difficult due to decreased mobility
- Pain is getting worse
Bunion surgery isn’t typically the first treatment, but when other treatments don’t work, surgery can help restore your quality of life, improve mobility, and reduce pain.
What’s involved with bunion surgery?
A bunionectomy treats bunions by correcting the deformity in your toe joint. During surgery, your provider realigns your bones around the joint at the base of your big toe.
The exact procedures and techniques used depend on what type of bunion surgery and the severity of your bunions. We may utilize screws, plates, and wires to secure your bones, and we may even remove excess bone.
Bunion surgery can be a beacon of hope for those struggling with the pain, inflammation, and limited mobility associated with bunions. To find out if bunion surgery is right for you, call the location of your choice to set up your consultation. You can also book an appointment online.