woman with painful bunion taking shoes offA bunion, unfortunately, is not reversible via home treatments, special shoes, braces, or other conservative means. We wish we could tell you otherwise, but the only real way to correct a bunion is via surgery.

However, that does not mean that surgery is always the only option! In many situations, the painful and uncomfortable symptoms of a bunion can be greatly or fully addressed via conservative means, making surgery unnecessary.

Each patient has unique needs and factors surrounding their situation, and we are more than happy to discuss potential routes of bunion treatment with you.

Surgical Bunion Treatment

We may recommend bunion surgery for patients who have not gotten optimal results from conservative treatments and for whom surgery may be the only route for providing relief. However, we might also recommend bunion surgery for younger patients who have lower expected complication risks from surgery and who may enjoy greater long-term benefits from an early surgical correction.

“Bunion surgery” is not just one set procedure. There are multiple forms of bunion surgery, depending on the shape and severity of the bunion, as well as the needs of the patient. Certain procedures may include:

  • Removing the enlarged “bump” of the bone and realigning soft tissues surrounding the joint.
  • Cutting and realigning the bones of the joint itself, shifting them to their proper positions.
  • Fusing the joint to relieve the pain of movement—often reserved for more severe or arthritic situations.

We will discuss the specifics of any recommended surgical procedures with you to ensure you know exactly what you should expect throughout the process and the subsequent recovery period.

It is important to note that, in some cases, corrective bunion surgery may not provide permanent results. If the instability in the joint that initially caused the bunion remains, there is a chance that the bunion will reoccur in the future. If there are any known risks such as this, we will absolutely discuss them with you as well.

Conservative Bunion Treatments

Conservative bunion treatments do not seek to correct a bunion but instead seek to achieve two major goals:

  • Address symptoms that are limiting your comfort and mobility
  • Slow or stop further progression of the bunion itself

Conservative options may be preferable for some older patients for whom surgery might be too risky. It may also be highly recommended for patients whose bunions are in their very early stages and much more responsive to preventative care.

Much like surgical procedures, there are different methods of conservative bunion treatment that are better for different situations. Potential conservative treatments may include:

  • The use of custom orthotics to provide better support for the foot and shift excess pressure away from the bunion.
  • Changes in footwear to better accommodate a bunion, which may include specialized shoes.
  • A regimen of specific stretches or exercises intended to maintain flexibility and mobility.
  • Wearing splints or toe spacers to help hold the joint in a proper position and ease discomfort.
  • Using moleskin pads to protect the bunion from rubbing against the inside of your footwear.

Keep in mind once again that conservative methods will not reverse a bunion, but they can be very effective in maintaining comfort and keeping the condition from worsening.

The Bunion Care You Need Now

Regardless of whether your bunion is just beginning or you’ve been living with one for years, there is no reason to delay receiving the help and treatment you need. The earlier a bunion is addressed, the more likely it can be mitigated conservatively. Call either of our area offices to schedule an appointment. In Oak Creek, call (414) 764-4500, and in New Berlin, call (262) 821-1588. You can also fill out our online contact form to reach us electronically if you prefer.