Bunions can be painful and change the shape of your foot. This makes being active, let alone simply walking, uncomfortable and difficult. As part of the EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region Podiatry Team, Dr. John Lord helps address bunions, specializing in conservative treatment methods designed to provide relief, and whenever possible, avoid bunion correction surgery. His goal is to help his patients return to the things they enjoy most and Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.
What Are the Options for Bunion Treatment?
Bunions form over time, creating a protrusion on the inside of the foot. These protrusions or “bumps” located near the big toe joint are actually from the head of the first metatarsal shifting. This is a sign that your arches are falling. As mentioned, bunions can be painful and cause stiffness, making it difficult to comfortably walk.
There are several contributing factors that lead to bunion development, which include:
- Lack of support or spending too much time on your feet.
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes that are pointed or narrow, cramming the toes.
- Having a hereditary condition that passes along similar characteristics in feet (such as increased flexibility)
- Having an existing condition such as rheumatoid arthritis (or another inflammatory issue) or a neuromuscular condition (polio as an example.)
To help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with bunions, Dr. Lord typically recommends one or more of the following conservative treatments:
- Change in footwear. To support the natural alignment and your feet ‘ bones and joints.
- Warm foot soaks, elevating foot above heart and flexing toes lightly.
- Bunion compression sleeve
- Medication. Dr. Lord may suggest the use of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help manage pain.
- Surgery. Dr. Lord may refer you to a surgical partner for a bunion correction procedure if the non-surgical methods have failed or the big toe is in the wrong position and needs to be realigned.
Bunion Correction Surgical Options
Should Dr. Lord determine that correction is necessary, you’ll be referred to one of EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region’s experienced foot and ankle specialists, who perform a number of advanced surgical approaches to bunion correction surgery.
Also referred to as a bunionectomy, bunion correction can help patients with:
- Continued symptoms after exhausting all conservative treatment options.
- Inability to be active or perform everyday tasks due to significant foot pain.
- Ongoing pain, inflammation, and pain in the big toe.
- Big toe deformity that causes the big toe to veer toward the smaller toes (in some cases causing other toes to cross over one another.)
- Difficulty or inability to bend and/or straighten the big toe.
There are several bunion correction procedures. Depending on the type and severity of your condition, Dr. Lord’s associates may perform one of the following:
- Osteotomy. This surgical approach helps to realign the joint. Pins, screws, or plates may be used to help ensure the bone remains straight and balanced.
- Arthrodesis. Recommended for patients with severe bunions or arthritis, arthrodesis removes arthritic joint surfaces and may also be suitable for patients who have received a previous (unsuccessful) bunion surgery.
- Exostectomy. This procedure removes the bump from the toe joint and is often used in conjunction with an osteotomy.
- Resection arthroplasty. A lesser performed bunion correction approach, this procedure that removes a portion of the damaged joint, is mainly reserved for aging patients and those who have previously undergone an unsuccessful surgery.
Following your bunion correction procedure, Dr. Lord and his associates will provide you with post-surgery recommendations to encourage optimal healing and recovery. This will include physical therapy exercises and stretches to help restore mobility.
Get the Expert Care You Need From the EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region Podiatry Team
No matter what type of treatment you need for bunions, Dr. Lord welcomes a personal consultation with you. In addition to treating bunions, Dr. Lord also addresses conditions ranging from ankle pain and instability to flat feet, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, and many more foot and ankle conditions.
Request an appointment with Dr. Lord now. Or, speak with an EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region team member now, 919-220-5255.