Do Bunions Have to Be Removed Surgically?

Do Bunions Have to Be Removed Surgically?

Do you have pain or discomfort from a bony mass on the side of your big toe? Chances are good that you have a bunion—and from difficulty when purchasing footwear to trouble with walking and other simple tasks, bunions are a pain!

At New Canaan Podiatry in Connecticut, our dedicated certified podiatrist Jennifer Tauber, DPM, understands the challenges and frustrations that bunions can bring. We also know that if you’re dealing with this bony growth, you’re probably worried about the need for surgical intervention. 

The truth is that, except in severe cases, effective bunion treatments are available that can provide relief without the need for surgery. Let's dive into what you need to know about bunions and the multiple treatment options that can help ease your symptoms. 

Understanding bunions

Your metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, located at the base of your big toe, is susceptible to developing a deformity that results in a bunion. Bunions occur when this joint compresses and shifts out of its proper position, causing your big toe to point inward toward the other toes.

Initially, bunions may appear as small bumps or sores on your foot. However, as you continue to walk and stand, the joint's misalignment progresses, leading to an increase in bunion size.

As the bunion worsens, it may become swollen, red, and inflamed. This can make your skin sensitive to touch and exacerbate the pain, even when you're not weight-bearing.

Reasons bunions develop

Bunions can affect anyone, but there are certain risk factors that may increase your chances of developing these bony protrusions. While wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes and avoiding repetitive foot stress can help reduce your risk, the following factors are associated with bunions:

In some cases, bunions may also result from a foot injury or develop in individuals with existing foot or joint deformities.

About bunions and surgery

Before determining the most appropriate treatment for your bunion, Dr. Tauber carefully assesses your medical history, evaluates your symptoms, and may perform an X-ray to gauge the severity of your bunion. 

By completing a comprehensive evaluation, our team can develop a personalized bunion treatment approach that meets your specific needs, lifestyle, and preferences. Surgery is typically considered the last resort for correcting bunions. 

At New Canaan Podiatry, we explore more conservative treatment options before recommending surgical intervention. These non-surgical therapies include:

If these conservative therapies don’t provide the relief you need, or if your bunion continues to worsen, Dr. Tauber may recommend a minimally invasive bunionectomy to remove the damaged tissues, make bone repairs, and realign your big toe joint. 

To learn whether surgery is necessary for your bunion, please schedule an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Tauber at New Canaan Podiatry in Connecticut. 

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