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Treatments for Bunions

Clip Number: 31 of 37
Presentation: Bone and Joint Conditions, Tests, and Procedures
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Several treatments exist for bunion problems. The doctor will usually start with the most conservative.
Conservative treatments can include:
• Shoe changes
• Medication
• Stretching
• Wearing a splint, or
• Orthotics.
For bunions, the most important treatment is changing the type of shoes you wear. This involves wearing shoes with a wider toe box to decrease the pressure on the painful bunion and prevent pushing the big toe toward the smaller toes.
Medications, stretching and wearing a bunion splint may also be used to decrease the symptoms and slow down the progression of a bunion. Orthotics, which are custom fitted arch supports, in some cases may help relieve the pressure and decrease the pain from the bunion and may help prevent it from getting worse. For mild deformities, these treatments are often successful, but as the bunion gets worse, their effectiveness decreases.
If the symptoms are not relieved with conservative treatment, surgery is often recommended. The surgery to fix bunions is called a bunionectomy. There are different ways to do a bunionectomy. The kind of bunionectomy surgery done will be decided by what kind of foot problems you are having. In most cases, the bunion is taken off and then the foot and toes are put back in the correct position.

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