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When Do Bunions Require Surgery

Bunions are common, but unfortunately, they’re also rather annoying. According to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, bunions can be caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes, genetics, and underlying health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. 

The pain and discomfort associated with bunions can make it difficult to enjoy your favorite activities. But how do you know if it’s time for surgery? At the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois, our team of providers is skilled in diagnosing and treating bunions — whether you need conservative care or surgery. 

We put together this guide to help shed light on the benefits of surgery for bunions and how to tell when it’s time to consider surgery.

Do your bunions require podiatric care?

Even if you don’t need surgery right away, don’t brush off the symptoms of bunions. As skilled podiatrists, there are many things we can do to help you find the relief you need. For example, you may find that orthotics improve your foot health. 

Bottom line: If you have any symptoms — even mild ones — it’s a good idea to seek podiatric care. In addition, if bunions are left untreated, they can lead to the development of foot deformities.

Three signs bunions might require surgery

Bunion surgery goes by many names: bunion surgery, bunionectomy, or hallux valgus correction. Below are three signs that you might benefit from surgery: 

You’re not responding to conservative treatments 

If bunions give you trouble, you might find relief by icing your foot, switching up your shoes (shoes with a wider toe box are more comfortable), and trying orthotics. However, if conservative treatments aren’t enough, it may be time to consider surgery.

Your quality of life is decreasing 

If your feet hurt, it’s hard to enjoy some of your favorite activities. Even walking around the block can become an unpleasant activity. Ask yourself:

  • Are my bunions stopping me from participating in social events?
  • Do my bunions limit my ability to exercise — even walking around the block?

If you answered yes, it’s time to think about the benefits of surgical treatment.

It’s difficult to walk

If the pain of bunions is making it hard to walk, it’s time to consider your surgical options. That’s because every step you take puts pressure (e.g., pressure from body weight combined with the force of gravity) on the bones, joints, and muscles in your feet. 

In the case of severe bunions, all that pressure leads to discomfort and difficulty taking steps.

Bunion surgery can help you walk more comfortably by realigning the bone, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. This enables the big toe to be brought back into the correct position.

Concerned about bunions? We’re here to help!

Although bunion surgery does involve downtime while you heal, bunion surgery can restore your quality of life and free you from the burden of painful bunions. Surgery isn’t right for everyone, but at the Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois, we’re here to help you take your next steps towards relief.

Give us a call at 217-787-2700 to request an appointment at one of our six convenient locations. You can also use our online scheduling tool to book today!

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