Do I Need Surgery for My Bunions?

Do I Need Surgery for My Bunions?

Bunions are far from uncommon. In fact, an estimated one-third of people in the United States have one. You might have a bunion on one foot or both. It’s a bony protrusion at the base of your big toe, which can cause your big toe to lean in toward your second toe. 

You can get bunions because of several contributing factors, including the natural anatomy of your feet, the shoes you wear (particularly high heels or shoes that are too tight or narrow), or foot stress and injuries. Inflammatory joint conditions like arthritis certainly don’t help and can cause your bunion to be chronically inflamed and irritable. 

No matter how you got it, a bunion can range from a mild inconvenience to an uncomfortable obstacle that prevents you from walking long distances. Even if you just don’t like the way your bunion looks, you may be interested in exploring treatments. 

Here at Lake Erie Podiatry in Erie, Pennsylvania, our seasoned podiatrist Michael Ruiz, DPM, can help you explore your options for treating a bunion and its symptoms. You may be wondering if surgery is the only way to correct the issue, and Dr. Ruiz can direct you to the answers you need about bunion care. 

Options before surgery

Avoiding surgery when possible is preferred, and fortunately, there are multiple strategies you can use to manage bunion pain and discomfort as well as complications on the bunion like corns and callouses. Your podiatrist finds out what’s causing your bunion and identifies factors that are making the condition worse. 

Sometimes, managing a bunion is as simple as choosing more supportive shoes. The answer to many podiatric problems, supportive shoes that fit you well and give your feet enough space take the pressure off a bunion and can stop the misalignment from getting worse. 

You can also alter your footwear to be more accommodating to a bunion by placing padding around the bony protrusion or using custom orthotics to balance your feet.

Sometimes surgery is the answer

Although Dr. Ruiz recommends nonsurgical options to manage bunions before considering surgery, surgery is the only way to fully align the joint at the base of your toe. Dr. Ruiz uses an advanced technique called Lapiplasty® 3D Bunion Correction, which involves aligning the joint along 3D planes before removing and fusing the joint. 

Surgery might be the best choice for you if your bunion causes severe pain that doesn’t seem to improve with other tactics, including footwear modifications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The procedure addresses both the physical discomforts of having a bunion and the visible deformity of your foot. 

Whether your bunion is painful or just doesn’t look flattering in sandals, there are surgical and nonsurgical treatments to consider. Schedule your treatment consultation by phone or online with us at Lake Erie Podiatry today.

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