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When to Consider Bunion Surgery

Bunions are common, and some are more problematic than others. If you’re developing bunions, you may be pondering your options as you watch the abnormality reshape your foot (or feet).

To help you with your decision-making, the team of podiatry experts here at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle wanted to highlight a few points that you should consider when searching for solutions. Bunion surgery is certainly effective, but it’s still surgery and a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Bunions are progressive and irreversible

While not necessarily dangerous, bunions can be tough because once they start to form, there’s little you can do about the changes that have already taken place in your foot. 

A bunion develops when the bones in your metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) in your big toe move out of alignment. That causes the metatarsal bone that connects to your big toe to move toward the inside of your foot, forcing the phalanx in your big toe to angle outward. The result is a big toe that angles toward your second toe and a bony protrusion on the inside of your foot to form.

That movement is progressive and irreversible, though we can take steps to slow the condition, such as orthotics, padding, and a change in footwear.

Are your bunions painful?

As we mentioned, bunions generally don’t affect how your feet function, but they can cause a good deal of pain, especially when the joint in your big toe is inflamed. When this happens, not only is wearing footwear uncomfortable (or even unbearable), even the slightest pressure can lead to discomfort.

If this sounds familiar, it may be time to consider resolving the problem through bunion surgery.

Problems in your other toes

As bunions progress, they can cause problems in your other toes, especially your second toes. When your big toe migrates toward your second toe (and even up over or under the toe), the balance in your foot is skewed. That can lead to issues like bursitis in the balls of your feet or the formation of hammertoes as the workload shifts in your foot.

As well, bunionettes can form around the base of your little toe, further complicating matters.

Exhausting your treatment options

If you’ve tried everything to resolve your discomfort, such as medications, orthotics, and changing your shoes, but you’re still hampered by your bunions, it may be time to consider surgery.

Follow the evidence

If we find that your bunions are moderate to severe, which we discover both visually and using advanced imaging that reveals the changes in your foot, we can recommend the best path forward, which may involve surgery. As we keep reiterating, bunions that have already formed are irreversible, and your treatment options outside of surgery are limited.

Ultimately, the choice is yours to make, but our team will guide you every step of the way. We’ve successfully performed scores of bunion surgeries and we offer a wide range of surgical choices, depending upon the degree of your bunions. To learn more about your surgical options, simply click here.

If you’d like to consult with one of our podiatrists about your bunions, contact one of our locations in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, and Lebanon, Tennessee, to set up an appointment.

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