This minimally invasive technique is designed to eliminate the painful bunion bump and return your toe to a normal position. During the procedure, Dr. McDonald makes series of three small incisions to correct the deformity. The incisions are just a few millimeters long compared to three- to five-inch incisions used in traditional open bunion surgery. Dr. McDonald performs the surgery under image guidance, which allows him to have “eyes inside” the foot. Because of its minimally invasive nature, recovery time is typically quicker than traditional bunion surgery.

Why Ignoring A Bunion Is Typically A Bad Decision

There are very few health conditions that fully resolve by ignoring the problem. Far more often than not, ignoring a health issue leads to worsening symptoms and a more severe condition, and that’s typically the case when it comes to bunions. We believe you should proactively treat all foot and ankle conditions, but that’s especially true for bunions. In today’s blog, we explain why it’s usually a poor choice to put off treatment for that bunion.

The Importance Of Proactive Bunion Treatment

Before we explain why bunion treatment is so important, it’s crucial to understand how a bunion forms. Bunions develop when our big toe joint shifts out of its natural alignment. Oftentimes as a result of poor footwear choices putting excessive pressure on your toes, your big toe can start to push towards your smaller toes. As your big toe is forced inward, the joint at the base of the toe is forced outward, leading to the formation of a growing bony prominence on the side of your foot.

This bump may not be painful at first, but that doesn’t mean that treatment isn’t needed. See, when it comes to a bunion, there are no conservative treatments that will shift your big toe joint back into the proper position. That doesn’t mean that every person who develops a bunion will always need surgery, but unless you take steps to slow or stop this progression, there’s a good chance that surgery is in your future. Surgery is the only treatment that will properly realign your big toe joint, but if you make some proactive lifestyle changes at an earlier stage, you may find enough symptom relief and prevent continued shifting such that you don’t need surgical correction.

So if you notice a small bump forming on the side of your foot at the base of your big toe joint, what should you do? As we mentioned above, poor fitting shoes are the leading cause of bunion formation, so you’ll really want to evaluate your footwear choices and make sure that you only wear supportive shoes with a wide toe box. Narrow dress shoes or high heels will put increased pressure on your big toe and can exacerbate a bunion, but a roomier shoe will help the toes lay flat without pressure from the side of your shoe. Changing up your footwear is a must if you’re dealing with the early stages of a bunion.

Other treatments that you may want to consider in combination with footwear changes include:

  • Bunion pads (extra cushion between your big toe joint and shoe)
  • Shoe Inserts
  • Icing
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Toe Stretching/Physical Therapy Exercises

None of these treatments require a major overhaul of your current lifestyle, so don’t put off treatment, because ignoring that bunion could eventually lead to major pain and an inability to pursue the physical activities you love most. Dr. McDonald has a wealth of experience surgically correcting bunions of varying sizes and degrees, but he’d rather work with you at an earlier stage so that an operation isn’t necessary. Let’s work to manage your bunion before it leads to the need for surgery.

For more information about caring for bunions of all shapes and sizes, or for assistance treating a different foot or ankle issue, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today at (860) 244-8889.

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