Bunions are a foot problem categorized by the development of a bony prominence on the joint of your toe. The most common site for the development of a bunion is on the outside of the joint of your big toe, but they can also develop on the the outside of your pinky toe (called a tailor’s bunion). Bunions can range from a minor annoyance to a major problem that requires surgery, so it’s important to know how to manage these conditions at different stages.
In today’s blog, we share some treatment options for caring for bunions at different stages of development.
Caring For Different Stages of Bunions
Here are some ways to manage bunions at three different stages of progression:
Minor bunion – A minor bunion is a bunion that is in its earliest stage, and it’s also the easiest to treat. The problem is that because they usually only cause minor discomfort, most people don’t actively treat the bunion, and that just leads to continued bunion growth. If you have a small prominence growing on the outside of a toe joint, or you’ve been diagnosed with a minor bunion, some treatment options include changing your footwear to a more comfortable and wide shoe option, avoiding narrow-toed shoes and high heels, and taping or splinting the toes to help naturally realign the toe joint.
Mild bunion – A mild bunion occurs when a minor bunion is left untreated, and they are a little less responsive to active treatment. With that said, you still may be able to avoid surgery if you follow the same tips as above, and you seek out a consultation with a foot specialist. They may prescribe other treatments, like exercise, physical therapy, hot or cold therapy, foot soaks and anti-inflammatory medications. These options may not reverse the joint damage, but they can prevent further damage and limit pain and discomfort that you may be dealing with.
Major Bunion – A major bunion requires hands on care, otherwise it can compromise the integrity of your forefoot. Major bunions are unlikely to respond to the conservative care options listed above, but they may help limit pain and discomfort. For best results, surgery is usually recommended, although your best bet is to set up a consultation with a foot and ankle specialist like Dr. Silverman. We’ll be able to give you advice tailored to your specific situation, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.