• Bunions involve enlargement and repositioning of joints in the ball of the foot.
  • Bunions most commonly affect the inner foot but also may affect the exterior of your foot at the base of the little toe.
  • Bunions in most cases affect women.
  • Bunions might or might not cause symptoms.
  • Treatment of bunions may include rest, alteration of footwear, foot supports, medications, and/or surgery.

How are bunions treated?

Nonsurgical treatments involve simply resting the foot by avoiding excessive walking and wearing loose (wider) shoes or sandals can often relieve the irritating pain of bunions. Walking shoes could possibly have some advantages, for example, over high-heeled styles that tug the big toe outward.

Anti-inflammation medications, such as acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin, Ecotrin), ibuprofen (Advil, Children’s Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever) and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve), will help ease inflammation as well as pain. Local cold-pack application may also be helpful as well.

To lessen tension around the inner area of the joint of the bunion, stretching exercise are sometimes helpful. A bunion splint is definitely an orthotic device that is usually worn during the night and may provide further relief. Depending on the structure of the foot, custom insoles might add further support and repositioning.

Inflammation from the joint at the bottom of the big toe is often relieved with a local injection of cortisone and any signs of skin breakdown or infection can require antibiotics. When these measures are effective in relieving symptoms, one should avoid irritating the bunion again by optimizing footwear and foot care.

For those whose bunions cause persisting pain, a surgical treatment is considered for elimination of the bunion. The surgical operation to eliminate a bunion is referred to as a bunionectomy. Surgeries can correct deformity as well as reducing pain resulting in improved function. These procedures typically involve removing the bony growth of the bunion while realigning the big toe. Surgical procedures are often, but not always, successful; failure to alleviate pain might result from the big toe moving returning to its previous deviated position even though surgery. However, proper footwear and activity restrictions can help to eliminate the chances of surgical failure.