Do Bunions Always Require Surgery?

Bunions can be painful enough to keep you from physical activity. If you’re limited by bunion pain and are exploring your options for treatment, invasive surgery may not be your only option.


At Alpine Foot & Ankle in Highland and Sandy, Utah, our double board-certified podiatrist Scott Shelton, DPM, offers customized treatment plans for bunions, including minimally invasive Lapiplasty® 3D bunion correction surgery.


Why bunions are so painful


A bunion is a bump that forms on the outside of your big toe joint. Typically, bunions develop when the bones at the front of your foot move out of their usual position. This can occur due to an abnormal gait or because of degenerative changes in your foot that become more common as you age.


Bunions can push the big toe joint outward, increasing your risk of blisters, calluses, and corns on the top of your toe. You can also develop a joint deformity or a hammer toe, a condition where your big toe bends abnormally towards your second toe.


In addition to pain, bunions can also cause numbness or tingling in your affected toe as your condition gets worse. When you can no longer walk or wear shoes without pain, it’s time to schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Alpine Foot & Ankle.


Nonsurgical treatments for bunions


Surgery isn’t generally the first treatment option we recommend for bunions. Dr. Shelton physically examines your foot, assessing your skin for swelling and redness. He may also need X-rays or other diagnostic imaging tests to get a closer look at the bones in the front of your foot.


In the early stages of a bunion, you might find effective pain relief using bunion pads to prevent your shoes from rubbing against your toe. We may also suggest taping your toes to limit movement, so your joint can heal.


Orthotics are also beneficial for those with bunion pain. Dr. Shelton can suggest shoe inserts and other orthotics to cushion the front of your foot and prevent pressure on your big toe joint.


If over-the-counter medications aren’t relieving pain or inflammation, you might need oral anti-inflammatories or corticosteroid injections. Once your pain lessens, we might recommend physical therapy to correct gait issues that increase your risk of bunions.


When surgery is needed to correct bunions


Bunion surgery is available if nonsurgical measures aren’t enough to improve your symptoms or if your bunion pain is severe.


We offer Lapiplasty 3D bunion correction surgery, a minimally invasive procedure that uses advanced technology to correct the entire bone in the front of your foot. This allows Dr. Shelton to address the root cause of your problem rather than just correcting the bump as other procedures do.


Lapiplasty 3D bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure. Afterward, you can expect to wear a boot to support your healing process. You should be able to get back to your usual activities quickly without bunion pain.


Don’t let bunion pain slow you down any longer. Call the Alpine Foot & Ankle office near you to schedule a diagnostic evaluation for bunions or book an appointment online today.


If you do not see your insurance provider, contact our office.



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