How Bunions Are Treated by Podiatrists

If you have a job that requires you to work on your feet, having foot problems can make for a miserable day. A common foot issue that can make walking painful is bunions. If you have a bunion, there are various ways to treat it.

What Are Bunions?

Although wearing tight shoes can make a bunion look red and cause pain, tight shoes are not the cause of bunions. A bunion is actually a deformity of the base joint located on the big toe. The causes of the deformity are unknown, but it often results in the big toe being angled inward toward the second toe.

Shoe material rubbing on the bunion often produces a thickening of the skin and tissues surrounding the joint. A bursa, which is a sac of fluid, can develop on the bunion as well. The tissue around the joint can swell, become inflamed, look red, and be painful to the touch.

Treating Bunions

Since most people assume a bunion is caused by tight shoes, they may try to stretch their shoe or just put up with the problem. However, if you have a bunion, you should see a foot specialist based in London for treatment. There are several treatments for bunions and a podiatrist will need to examine your foot to suggest the best way to treat your bunion.


Proper Footwear

In many cases, the best course of treatment is to wear properly-fitting shoes. Tight, high-heeled and pointed-toed shoes should be avoided. Shoes or trainers with laces or Velcro closures are best because the width of the shoe can be easily adjusted if your bunion starts to swell or is painful. You can also wear a pad over the bunion or ice it at night after you take off your shoes to reduce swelling.

Prescription Medications

Most foot doctors will recommend taking over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, since it is an anti-inflammatory medication, to help reduce pain and swelling. However, they may prescribe something stronger such as paracetamol to relieve pain. If the joint becomes infected, then you may be prescribed antibiotics to take care of it.

Bunion Surgery

Depending on the severity of the deformity, surgery may be necessary to straighten the toe and help get rid of the bunion. While recovery from bunion surgery has a reputation for being painful, new techniques have been developed that greatly reduce pain and help preserve the foot’s anatomy. A surgical method known as Scarf osteotomy can be performed by a foot specialist on the bunion to straighten the toe.

After surgery, physiotherapy is often used to help reduce recovery time, get the patient mobile again, and help reduce swelling. Most bunion surgeries are outpatient procedures so you can go home the same night. If you have a problem with painful bunions, make an appointment with a podiatrist for treatment. Surgery isn’t always necessary, but if it is, it can provide the relief you need from pain and improve how your toe looks.