Bunions don’t just develop overnight, which is why we oftentimes see them in so many different stages of development. And although bunions develop slowly over time, that doesn’t mean you should just ignore the problem until symptoms make walking extremely uncomfortable. As is the case with a number of conditions, the sooner you begin treatment, the higher the likelihood that you’ll fully treat the problem. With that in mind, we wanted to share some common treatment techniques for treating different stages of bunions.
Treating Different Stages Of Bunions
Whether you’re dealing with a mild, moderate or severe bunion, know that you have several prevention and treatment options at your disposal. Here’s a look at some of the treatment recommendations we provide for patients dealing with different stages of bunion progression.
- Mild Bunions – A mild bunion is the most receptive to treatment, but it’s also the type of bunion that gets ignored because symptoms are mild or even non-existent in the early stages. A bit of soreness or discomfort may not seem all that bad, but if you continue to do the same things that allowed the bunion to develop in the first place, it will only get worse, as will its symptoms. If you notice the beginning stages of a bunion, consider switching to more comfortable shoes with a wider toe box. Pressure from narrow toe boxes is one of the leading causes of big toe joint malformation and bunion onset. Changing your shoes and using a bunion sleeve or toe spacer are some very simple changes that can help prevent further bunion progression and quell symptoms.
- Moderate Bunions – If your big toe joint is a little bit more deformed, you may have to take a few additional steps to help calm symptoms and take pressure off the joint so it doesn’t continue to get worse. Bunion treatment is progressive, meaning that the treatments for smaller bunions will also be good forms of treatment for more severe bunions, but you’ll want to add some other treatments into the mix as well. Along with shoe changes and bunion sleeves, you may also want to consider physical therapy to help strengthen structures that support the joint and increase stability in the area. Anti-inflammatory medications and cold/heat therapy can also help to control symptoms while other treatments work to slow progression of the bunion.
- Severe Bunions – If your bunion is severe, odds are symptoms are quite painful and it’s less likely that conservative treatments will resolve your pain. That’s not to say that they aren’t worth pursuing, because shoe changes and physical therapy can help prevent additional joint shifting and aid in pain control, but it’s unlikely that severe bunions will respond to the point that additional treatment is unnecessary with just conservative care. When a joint has shifted that severely, surgery is typically the best option. A minimally invasive operation can reshape the joint and stabilize it in place so that it’s much less likely to shift again in the future. Most patients experience fantastic results with minimally invasive bunion correction, but they’ll still want to be mindful about their shoe choices going forward to eliminate excessive pressure on the big toe joint.
The takeaway here is that while early intervention is important, Dr. McDonald and his team can help correct your bunion issue no matter what stage it’s in, so don’t be afraid to reach out for care. We can help get you back to pain-free walking and running with a few simple treatments, so take the first step in bunion treatment by calling our team today. For more information about caring for a bunion, give Dr. McDonald’s office a call today at (860) 244-8889.