When Are Bunions a Big Concern?
We all have our bumps on the road in life. Some of them end up on our feet.
Perhaps you have noticed your big toe gradually shifting. Maybe that bump keeps rising. Or maybe you’ve lived with that bump for years and it’s basically your constant and unwanted traveling companion at this point.
Sometimes it can be disturbingly easy to just set something aside and ignore it, even when it’s staring at us from the side of your foot. So when it comes to a bunion, when should you actually come to see us about it?
If you have never seen a podiatrist regarding your bunion, we highly recommend you do!
“But my bunion isn’t causing me any pain!” you might say. “It doesn’t even look that big!”
And to that our reply is: Exactly.
The best time to start treatment for a bunion is before it becomes a big problem! With treatments such as changes in shoes, prescribed inserts, and stretching exercises, you can manage your bunion and either slow or stop its progression into a worse condition.
Think of your big toe like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There’s an obvious problem there, but instead of waiting for the tower to be on the verge of collapse, they took measures to stabilize the structure as best as possible. It still leans, but it’s not expected to lean further for at least two centuries!
(Bet you didn’t expect your toe to be compared to a world-famous landmark today. That’s just one of the bonuses you get with us.)
The big thing to keep in mind with bunions in their early stages is that you should not expect the shifting to just stop on its own one day. Bunions will almost always grow progressively worse on their own, and especially if you take no actions to manage them.
If You Have Already Seen Someone About Bunions
So, this is not your first time at the bunion rodeo. You’ve seen someone in the past about it (whether it was us or not) and have taken measures to mitigate the progression of the deformity over time. That’s good!
If you do not currently have a podiatrist who can regularly monitor your bunion, we would be more than happy to do so. Having a professional who can monitor how the toe has shifted, plus identify any factors that might be influencing that movement, can be a great help in averting any additional pains or disasters in the future.
While we do not recommend waiting until things go wrong (or further wrong), you should absolutely see a professional again if you have any of the following problems:
- Decreased movement or range of motion in your big toe.
- Pain that remains persistent in your big toe or foot.
- Trouble finding shoes that fit properly and do not cause chaffing, sores, calluses, or corns.
Having a bunion for a long time doesn’t mean you must endure these problems without proper care (and it absolutely doesn’t mean you deserve to!). There may still be plenty of conservative options that can help you find relief and mitigate your discomfort.
But What About the “S-word”?
Some people may have some reservations toward pursuing further help for bunion pain and complications, and the reason tends to revolve around one word: surgery.
We completely understand this hesitation. Nobody wants to undergo surgery if they don’t have to.
But on the other side of the coin, most surgeons don’t want their patients to undergo surgery if they don’t have to, either!
Bunion surgery will always come with risks, however slight they might be; and once you perform surgery on someone, their body might never return to its full strength in that area.
To even begin to consider surgery for a bunion, we have to know that the conservative options we have aren’t working. We also need to be assured that the surgery is worth conducting; i.e. that the ultimate results are going to be much better than not having surgery at all. Will it greatly reduce pain that is keeping you from enjoying life? Will it help you regain mobility if your condition currently impedes it?
And even after all that, whether you have surgery or not is still entirely up to you.
To put things more succinctly, coming to see us about your bunion is not going to get you swept up in a surgery you don’t want. We will exhaust every reasonable conservative treatment option to help you find the relief you need first.
Remember that correction of a bunion is not the ultimate goal; finding relief from the symptoms is!
Help for Your Bunion at Any Stage
The truth is that a bunion is pretty much always a concern in one way or another. You want to make sure at all stages that the shifting of the toe is being mitigate and that any resulting discomforts or problems are being addressed. In most cases the bunion remains, but the person who’s attached to it has a much happier daily life!
If you believe you are developing a bunion, don’t wait for a personal confirmation—come to us! We can determine what is going on with your foot and recommend the best ways to keep it from becoming worse. We might recommend our new and exciting procedure for the treatment of bunions!
And if you already have a bunion, you should be receiving consistent, updated care for it. We’d love to help keep you comfortable and keep surgery from becoming a necessity.
Our offices in Newton and Wichita are open for you. Give us a call at (866) 222-5177 or use our online contact form to get in touch.