Those large bony protrusions at the base of your big toes are called bunions. They not only pose cosmetic issues, but they can be downright painful, especially when they’re inflamed.
If you’re struggling with painful bunions, there are several ways to address the problem. To give you an idea about your options, our team of podiatry experts here at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, with 10 locations across Tennessee reviews four steps for reducing bunion pain.
1. Change your shoes
Bunions are often the result of footwear that crowds your toes or forces more weight onto your toes (think high heels), so changing your footwear is a great place to start when it comes to painful bunions.
Instead, choose shoes that allow your toes to spread out and that better balance the load-carrying burden over your entire foot.
2. Use pads
Another option for painful bunions is to use pads that cushion your bunions to prevent friction. When bunions aren’t inflamed, they rarely cause pain. When they encounter friction, however, the inflammation can make even the slightest pressure very painful.
3. Ice and anti-inflammatories
For immediate relief of bunion pain, icing the area and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are great solutions.
Here is the truth: once bunions form, they don’t go away and are often progressive. Using the above steps, you can prevent your existing bunions from getting worse, but they won’t resolve the bunion.
For our patients dealing with chronically painful bunions, we often recommend a surgical solution.
There are several different types of bunion surgeries and the one we recommend depends on the degree of the misalignment in your foot and how large your bunion has become.
The types of surgery include:
During this procedure, we reposition a tendon in your foot to straighten your big toe joint.
With this method, we reconstruct the bones in your feet below your bunion.
Distal chevron bunionectomy
We cut the end of your metatarsal (the long bone leading to your big toe) and reposition the end to straighten the joint.
We make strategic cuts in the bones around your big toe to straighten it.
We reposition the bones below your big toe and fuse them in place with pins or screws. This procedure involves a 6-8 week recovery period.
We perform a lapidus procedure using specialized plates and screws that allow you to recover using a walking boot about a week after your surgery.
If you’d like to learn more about the surgical and non-surgical options for painful bunions, please contact one of our offices in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, Columbia, Pulaski, or Lebanon to schedule an appointment.