Do My Bunions Require Surgery?

Jan 01, 2023
Do My Bunions Require Surgery?
Bunions can cause significant pain, but people often delay treatment over fears they’ll need surgery that will require lengthy recovery times. Fortunately, not all bunions require surgery. But, for ones that do, there are minimally invasive options.

It’s hard to confuse bunions with other foot problems. After all, this foot deformity typically occurs at the base of the big toe. The result? A big toe that bends inward toward your other toes instead of pointing straight ahead.

Unfortunately, a bunion usually causes more than a visual deformity. It’s also common for the misaligned toe to become painful and stiff, and it can trigger other foot issues as well, such as:

  • Blisters and sores
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoes
  • Bursitis
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Skin and bone infections

And, as if these things weren’t bad enough, bunions can also make it difficult to walk.

But there’s good news. 

Hai-En Peng, DPM, FACFAS, at Align Foot & Ankle Center offers a variety of bunion treatments, and we start with the most conservative options available whenever we can. If you have bunions, here are a few ways we can help.

Conservative solutions for bunions

When treating a bunion, our team evaluates the severity of the condition and looks for other foot issues, such as arthritis and hammertoe. We also consider your overall health, age, and goals to ensure your treatment strategy provides the best outcome.

Fortunately, many bunions respond to conservative treatment strategies, such as:

  • Wearing comfortable shoes with plenty of room for your toes
  • Using custom-made orthotics that improve foot distribution
  • Adding padding to reduce pressure between your foot and shoe 
  • Taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers
  • Undergoing physical therapy to strengthen specific foot muscles

While these treatments can provide significant pain relief for bunions, it’s important to note that they don’t cure the condition. Instead, they help manage your symptoms and keep them from worsening. If your symptoms don’t respond to conservative methods — or if you have a severe foot condition — we could suggest surgical solutions.

Surgical treatments for bunions

The good news is, if your bunion requires surgery, new and advanced surgical methods have made bunion surgery far easier for patients than it was in the past. And, many treatments are minimally invasive, outpatient procedures, such as the ones listed in this section. Depending on the severity of your bunion, our team may recommend any of the following treatments:

Lapiplasty® 3D bunion correction

This minimally invasive procedure relies on patented technology that realigns the bones in the front of your foot. With this treatment, your foot starts recovering quickly. In fact, you can usually bear weight within 2-3 days, which is far sooner than is usually possible with traditional bunion surgeries.

Paragon 28 Phantom® bunion correction

Another advanced bunion treatment we often recommend involves implanting a small medical device that holds your big toe joint and surrounding bones in their ideal positions.

During this procedure, we remove excess bone and cartilage from the base of your toe and insert the device in the open space. This approach restores joint function and mobility while relieving your pain at the same time.

MIS Pecaplasty® bunion correction

This specialized treatment allows us to cut, realign, and stabilize bones using much smaller incisions than traditional bunion treatments. And, like the other treatments, this is an outpatient procedure.

Fortunately, you don’t have to decide for yourself if you need bunion surgery. Instead, we can assess your condition and make the best treatment recommendations based on your unique situation. The most important thing is to not let bunion pain interfere with your everyday life. We have solutions, whether you opt for surgery or not.

Do you have a bunion? Learn more about your treatment options by booking an appointment online or over the phone with Align Foot & Ankle Center today. We have offices in Camarillo and Santa Barbara, California.