Bunions: Treatment


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A variety of surgical and non-surgical treatments could be used to treat bunions. Interventions that don’t suggest surgery include resting the foot by avoiding excessive walking and wearing loose (wider) shoes or sandals that can oftentimes relieve the irritating pain produced by a bunion. An advantage of wearing walking shoes over high heels is that they don’t tug the big toe outward.

Anti-inflammatory medications could help relieve inflammation as well as pain. The medications include the following:

  1. Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin, Ecotrin)
  2. Ibuprofen (Advil, Children’s Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin,  Nuprin, PediaCare Fever)
  3. Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve)

Local cold pack applications could also help in relieving pain and swelling. Stretching exercises are also effective in decreasing tension on the inner part of a joint of a bunion. Orthotic devices such as Bunion Splints are worn at night to provide further relief from pain. Depending on the foot structure, custom insoles might provide additional support and facilitates repositioning.

A local injection of Cortisone may be administered for inflammation at the base of the big toe. Antibiotics are prescribed for possible signs of skin breakdown or an impending infection. While the interventions mentions could be effective in controlling symptoms, patients should prevent irritation of the bunion through modification of footwear choices along with proper foot care.

If persistent pain is felt, resorting to the Surgical Intervention might be the alternative option. Bunion surgery aims to correct toe deformities and relieve pain experience. It is classified into two categories, namely the head and base procedures. In the head procedure, an operation is done on the joint of the big toe while the base procedure, on the other hand, is done on the joint behind the largest toe. There are numerous sub procedures that are done in different sections of the toe mainly because of its different components. Crutches for two weeks may be required for the patient after undergoing the surgery to keep the foot relaxed and dry. Stitches and surgical dressings are changed after a week.