Bunions Are a Common Foot 👣 Condition that We Get a lot of Questions About
A bunion is a bone enlargement that protrudes outward where your big toe and foot meet. It can also form on the outside of the foot, where the little toe and foot meet.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about bunions:
Does wearing the wrong shoes cause a bunion?
Bunions are almost always hereditary. Narrower shoes worn consistently can make the bunion hurt more, but do not cause it. Unfortunately, some people are just genetically predisposed to this condition.
Can a splint correct a bunion?
Unfortunately, no. Splints cannot take away the enlarged bone and make the big toe straight again – only surgery can do this. Wearing a splint, however, may slow down how fast a bunion grows.
I heard a bunion always comes back after being removed – is that true?
Although it’s possible for a bunion to recur, when the right procedure is done it is rare the bunion will return. The techniques for surgical bunion correction keep getting better. We also recommend shoes with good support and custom orthotics to decrease the chance of a recurrence.
When is the best time to have a bunion removed?
There are two possible signs that it’s time to consider having surgery . The first is when there is pain on a daily basis. The second is if the big toe starts overlapping the second toe. The size of the bunion doesn’t always correlate with the pain – some large bunions rarely hurt, and some small bunions hurt a ton. We are here to advise you whether and when surgery is indicated.
Will I need crutches and a cast after bunion surgery?
Keeping pressure off the surgery site will decrease the pain and swelling. Either crutches, a walker, or a knee scooter are necessary after almost every bunion surgery. A fiberglass cast is only needed for a rare form of bunion correction; a walking boot is needed in most cases.
When is it safe to start exercising after surgery?
The general rule is that it takes about 2 months to begin walking or using an elliptical for exercise. It usually takes longer to start jogging again. Some people can use an exercise bike as early as 3 weeks after surgery.
What can be done to address bunion pain other than surgery?
Sometimes we’ll use cortisone to relieve the pain. Custom orthotics can help align the foot better, and wearing wider shoes can help alleviate the pain. Ice 🧊 and ibuprofen have also helped some people.
We recommend a non-surgical approach to bunions for as long as possible, as we do for all foot conditions. However, some bunions can get bigger and more painful quickly. An x-ray will guide us to the best option if this occurs.
As you can see, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for addressing bunions. If you have a bunion that hurts fairly often, you can always schedule an appointment with us. We’ll be happy to advise you on the best course of action.
To healthy feet,