Bunions commonly form on the base of the big toe when the bone or tissue near the big toe moves out of place. Because the MTP joint near the big toe carries a lot of the weight, painful lumps can form and can be extremely painful if left untreated. Common causes range from foot stress to genetic deformities, at Dr. Steber’s office, we can treat bunions and help you regain peace of mind.
Why Visit a Podiatrist for Bunions
Because treatment options vary depending on the severity of the bunion, a podiatrist can provide early treatment options to relieve pressure and halt the progression of the joint deformity. Dr. Steber will recommend a variety of treatment plans, both surgical and non-surgical, to help prevent the growth of the bunion and treat bunion pain.
Some non-surgical treatments include:
- Padding and taping – As the first step to treating bunions, taping the bunion will minimize the pain and keep the foot in a normal position. We will recommend wearing tape and pads for at least two to four weeks, and we will schedule a follow-up appointment to look at the progress of the bunion and recommend further treatment.
- Medication – Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, can help relieve the pain. We can also perform cortisone injections to provide immediate relief of the bunion. Cortisone injections can suppress inflammation from bunions and joints from anywhere from six weeks to six months.
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapy’s known as a long-term solution to foot and ankle pain. Physical therapy can provide relief from the bunion pain and help soften the tissue development.
- Orthotics – Shoe inserts can control foot function and can reduce the symptoms of bunion pain.
Surgical Options for Bunions
When early treatments fail, surgery can help relieve the pressure and repair the toe joint. Bunion removals, also called a bunionectomy, will remove the bony prominence and help realign the foot and joint back to health. If several bunions are present, then the surgical procedure will become more involved and may take multiple appointments to complete. Before any surgery conducted in our office, we will help prepare you for the surgery by taking x-rays, performing electrocardiograms, and testing your blood and urine for any underlying illnesses that may affect the surgery. We will recommend that you stop taking medications a few days before surgery.
During the surgery, we will apply local anesthesia to the surgical area to block pain receptors, making you numb below the ankles. Dr. Steber and his team of surgeons will remove the bunion and make other repairs to the foot. Through this procedure, we can use multiple procedures, include:
- Osteotomy – This procedure involves cutting the big toe and realigning it to a normal position.
- Exostectomy – An exostectomy will remove the bunion from the joint without an alignment adjustment.
- Arthrodesis – Any damage to the joint will require screws or metal plates to correct the deformity.
To help you recover, we will recommend a surgical cast to protect your foot for about four to six weeks, and afterward, we will give you a brace to wear, and gradually, you’ll transition to crutches for support. Full recovery times can take up to four to six months before being completely healed.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you have any concerns regarding our bunion treatments, then contact Dr. Steber at 570-657-6851 to schedule an appointment.