Bunion correction surgery can help to reshape the big toe joint and alleviate symptoms caused by a moderate to severe bunion formation, but if you don’t change some of the habits that led to bunion onset in the first place, it’s possible that your bunion could return or one could develop on your other foot. Nobody wants to treat bunions a second time, and that means that you’ll need to consider making some lifestyle changes to prevent a recurrence. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how you can prevent bunions from returning following a surgical procedure.
Preventing Bunions After Corrective Surgery
You’re probably more familiar with prevention techniques than you may realize, because these prevent techniques are similar to non-operative treatments that you likely pursued prior to your surgical procedure. These techniques may not have been able to prevent the need for surgery because your bunion malformation was so severe, but after a corrective procedure, many of the same non-operative treatment techniques will help to provide an ideal environment for your big toe joint to function as intended. With that in mind, here’s a look at some ways you can prevent a bunion recurrence following bunion surgery.
- Wear The Right Shoes – Making sure that your feet are in comfortable and supportive shoes is likely the most important thing you can do to prevent bunions and to alleviate discomfort caused by mild bunions. Shoes that are too tight or those with a narrow toe box will push your toes inward, which in turn puts excess pressure on the big toe joint. This constant strain slowly shifts your big toe joint out of its proper position and is the leading cause of bunion formation. If you want to reduce your likelihood of developing another bunion, you need to make sure that your feet are in a wider shoe that doesn’t put too much pressure on your toe box.
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapy is helpful for your feet in a number of different ways. Targeted strength training exercises will improve your joint health and ensure that muscles and soft tissues are stronger, which will stabilize the joint and help to prevent joint shifting. You can do some simple exercises for 5-10 minutes when you’re on the couch to improve your foot strength and flexibility, and you’ll also be decreasing your likelihood of developing a bunion. Here’s a look at five great PT exercises to consider both before or after bunion surgery.
- Splinting – A bunion splint is a padded or cushioned device that you wear on your feet to help provide some extra support to the big toe joint. You can wear one throughout the day, but many people find that wearing a splint while they sleep is a simple and passive way to help support their big toe joint.
- Custom Orthotics – Your foot specialist may also recommend that you consider custom orthotics once enough healing has taken place. Similar to a splint, custom orthotics provide additional support to your foot and your big toe joint, and the best part is that they can be created to your specific needs. A foot specialist will use different devices to understand exactly how force is distributed through your feet when you stand and walk and develop an orthotic that helps to protect the most vulnerable areas of your feet, which may be your big toe joint after surgery.
If you work to strengthen and protect your feet after bunion surgery, we know that you’ll be able to greatly reduce your risk of needing additional care for a bunion recurrence down the road. If you’re interested in treating your bunion once and for all, pick up the phone and reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today. Give them a call at (860) 244-8889.