NYC Foot & Ankle Center
NYC Foot & Ankle Center

When do Bunions Require Surgery?

Jan 01, 2024
When do Bunions Require Surgery?

Witness your big toe gradually shifting towards its neighbor, forming a bump on the inner side of your foot. Contemplating surgery as a solution? Here are essential considerations for individuals dealing with bunions.

The progression is subtle and may slip your notice—gradually, your big toe starts moving towards the outer edge of your foot. Soon, a noticeable bump appears on the inner base of your big toe, giving your foot an irregular appearance. Welcome to the realm of bunions, a condition more prevalent in women than men by a factor of 10.

As authorities in foot health, the team of board-certified podiatrists at NYC Foot & Ankle Center, located in the Manhattan Valley neighborhood of the Upper West Side, has treated countless bunion-related issues. This condition is so commonplace that we provide various surgical options to address and rectify bunions effectively.

For those contemplating bunion treatment, here are key points to weigh when considering surgery.

Have you exhausted conservative treatment?

Try conservative treatments first. These approaches include:

  • Icing the bunion
  • Choosing roomy shoes with plenty of toe space
  • Using padding to relieve pressure between your foot and shoe
  • Getting custom-made orthotics to improve your foot distribution
  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Having targeted joint injections
  • Trying a physical therapy program

If these methods have not helped, or your symptoms continue to worsen, it may be time for surgery.

Bunions are persistent

Also known as hallux valgus, bunions result from an imbalance in the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint—the primary joint at the base of your big toe. Over time, the lengthy metatarsal bone shifts towards the inside of your foot, causing your toe to angle outward. New bone forms in the joint to protect itself in this altered position, forming a bony protrusion.

This progression is continuous, and once changes occur, they are irreversible. While you can impede further advancement, surgery becomes necessary to realign the MTP joint and remove the bony protrusion, restoring your foot as closely as possible to its pre-bunion state.

Bunions can be painful

The bony protrusion experiences heightened friction with increased prominence, leading to inflammation. Once a bunion becomes inflamed, wearing regular shoes can become a challenging task.

For individuals grappling with persistent bunion pain, surgery offers a more sustainable solution, eliminating the need to restrict footwear choices whenever inflammation occurs.

Addressing associated problems

As bunions advance, they may give rise to various complications in your feet, including:

  1. Hammertoes
  2. Calluses and corns
  3. Bursitis
  4. Ingrown toenails

Additionally, the imbalance caused by a bunion may result in pain in other parts of your foot.

If you're contending with issues linked to a growing bunion, surgery can effectively resolve these side problems.

If you wish to discuss your bunion treatment options further, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. You can call us or utilize our online booking tool.