Conservative Care Options for Bunions

by | May 25, 2016 | Bunions

Many people think that the only way to fix a bunion is with surgery. Although there might be a grain of truth to this (as we’ll talk about shortly), nonsurgical bunion treatment can be effective at reducing symptoms and preventing an existing condition from worsening. At The Kansas Foot Center, our goal is to use conservative care whenever possible, including for bunions.

For a long time, bunions were thought to be caused by women’s footwear, particularly styles that feature high heels (like stilettos and pumps). This is still debated a bit in the medical community, but we are inclined to point at factors like heredity, foot structure, and even injuries as well. The main issue with a bunion is that an imbalance has taken place in the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP joint) and the big toe has begun angling inwards. The big toe’s drifting forces the joint to stick out, which leads to the distinguishable bony protrusion.

It is true that the only way to absolutely correct a bunion is with surgery. It is a progressive condition, and the deformity cannot be reversed with conservative care. The good news, though, is that nonsurgical bunion treatment may be able to adequately address the painful symptoms, thus making surgery unnecessary.

Some of the conservative options we may use to care for a bunion include:

  • Shoe recommendations. Switching to footwear that is roomy and comfortable—especially in the toe box (front) area—can keep pressure off the bunion and reduce the risk of calluses and blisters.
  • Medications. When bunion pain strikes, ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen can provide relief. In some cases, cortisone injections are beneficial.
  • Shoe inserts. In addition to wide, roomy shoes, padded inserts can redistribute pressure to reduce symptoms and prevent the bunion from worsening.
  • Icing. After you’ve been on your feet for an extended period, icing can relieve inflammation and soreness in the joint.

If you have a bunion that is causing you discomfort or pain, or taking away your enjoyment of favorite activities, come to The Kansas Foot Center. We are staffed with experienced, skilled, medical professionals who are ready to create an effective treatment plan just for you. Call us at (316) 283-4330 and find out more about how we can provide the care you need. If you’d prefer, schedule your appointment online today for any of our three Kansas offices – Wichita, Emporia, or Newton.