NYC Foot & Ankle Center
NYC Foot & Ankle Center

It’s Time to Deal with Your Bunion

May 17, 2024
It’s Time to Deal with Your Bunion

Bunions don’t go away on their own, and if you’re tired of dealing with the pain of a bunion, now is the time to finally address it. Read on to learn what potentially caused your bunion and what you can do about it.

If you've been putting off taking care of your bunion, consider this your sign that it’s time to deal with it.

Bunions don’t go away on their own, and they can’t be reversed, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with discomfort forever. Our providers at NYC Foot & Ankle Center, regularly diagnose and treat bunions at our office in the Manhattan Valley neighborhood of the Upper West Side. 

Here’s a closer look at what a bunion is and how you can get relief from the discomfort associated with it.

What exactly is a bunion?

A bunion 一 medically known as hallux valgus 一 is that bony bump at the base of your big toe. It’s not a growth, a tumor, or a callus. The bump is actually your metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. This joint connects your toe with your foot, but when this joint becomes misaligned, it sticks out and creates the illusion of a bump. 

Not only does this misalignment make your big toe lean inward toward your second toe, but it can also cause pain, inflammation, and difficulty wearing certain footwear.

Know what caused your bunion

Knowing what contributed to your bunion development won’t make your bunion go away, but it can help you take actions that slow its progression. 

Several factors can contribute to the development and progression of bunions, including your genetics, your unique foot anatomy and mechanics, ill-fitting shoes (especially narrow shoes or high heels), foot injuries, and certain medical conditions like arthritis. 

Explore your nonsurgical bunion treatment options

While surgery may be necessary for severe or persistent bunions, many conservative treatment options can help alleviate your symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition. These may include:

Footwear modifications

Choosing shoes with a wide toe box and low heels can help reduce pressure on your bunion and provide more room for your toes. 

You can also protect your bunion by adding a gel or moleskin pad on the inside of your shoe. Make sure you have plenty of room in your shoes to accommodate the gel-filled pad.

Wear custom orthotic devices

Custom orthotic inserts can provide support, promote proper alignment, and cushion your feet. If biomechanics contributed to your bunion, orthotics can help promote proper foot alignment and posture. 

Physical therapy

Specific exercises and stretches can strengthen the muscles around your big toe joint and improve flexibility. This can help stabilize your bunion and prevent further deformity.

Examples of exercises for your feet include toe circles, toe points, ball rolls, towel grips, and marble pick-ups. These are simple exercises you can easily perform throughout the day.

Hot and cold therapy

Soaking your affected joint in warm water for about 10-15 minutes can relax the surrounding muscles, enhance blood flow, and alleviate bunion pain. 

Alternatively, if your feet are swollen, you may find that cold therapy is better. You can find cold compresses designed for feet that slide on like socks, but a traditional ice pack will work as well.

Pain management

Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications can help alleviate bunion-related pain and inflammation. Take all medications as directed. 

When to consider surgery for your bunion

You might consider surgery for your bunion if:

  • Conservative options aren’t delivering the results you need
  • Your bunion is getting worse
  • Your bunion is limiting your ability to walk 

If surgery is required, our NYC Foot & Ankle Center team offers two minimally invasive surgical options: arthroscopy and laser surgery. Both options are designed to correct the misalignment that contributed to your bunion.

Help for your bunion is just a call or click away. To explore your nonsurgical and surgical treatment options, contact our office today to schedule a consultation. You can call us or utilize our online booking tool.