Prevention and Treatment of Bunions
The simplest way to prevent bunions is to choose shoes that provide sufficient width and depth in the toe box so that the toes are not pushed inward. Heels should be as flat as possible, not elevated, to avoid placing additional pressure and stress on the forefoot.
Inserts that provide cushioning and allow the toes to spread in the forefoot, provide arch support to help reduce stress on the feet, and address excessive overpronation can help prevent bunion formation. Orthotics can help control abnormal foot movement and reduce the probability of bunion formation.
Treatment for bunions includes the following:
- Wearing appropriate footwear, properly selected and fitted as part of an integrated approach. Properly designed and fitted shoes or boots provide sufficient width in the toe box, which helps ensure minimal compression; also avoid high heels and pointy shoes.
- Wearing inserts and/or orthotics that provide cushioning and proper arch support.
- Wearing padded socks to reduce pressure on the foot.
- Padding and taping the bunion to reduce and alleviate pain
- Medications such as acetaminophen and anti-inflammatory drugs, and cortisone injections.
If conservative treatment doesn't provide relief from symptoms, a number of surgical procedures are often performed for bunions. A bunionectomy typically involves removing the swollen tissue from around the big toe joint, straightening the big toe by removing part of the bone, realignment of the metatarsal bone to reduce angular deformity, or permanently joining the bones of the affected joint.