7 Signs It's Time to Consider Bunion Surgery

Feb 05, 2024
misc image
vBunions commonly cause foot pain and often respond well to early, conservative intervention. When those methods fail, bunion surgery can help you find much-needed relief for your painful symptoms. Here’s when surgery makes sense.

Bunions are a painful and all-too-common cause of foot pain, especially for people over 65. While bunions can be treated conservatively and nonsurgically in their milder stages, there are times when surgery is the better choice for finding long-lasting relief.

At Forward Foot & Ankle in Midtown Manhattan and Staten Island, New York, our team offers conservative and surgical treatments for bunions, ensuring every patient receives the most appropriate care. In this post, learn about seven signs that could mean surgery is better for your bunions.

1. Your bunion is getting worse

A bunion happens when the top of the big toe is pushed toward the other toes, gradually pushing the big toe joint out of place. Over time, the joint becomes inflamed and sore. 

Some milder bunions cause few symptoms. But if your bunion is becoming progressively worse, it may be time to consider surgery to realign the bones in the joint and prevent permanent disability.

2. Your bunion is affecting your other toes

As the big toe tilts inward, it crowds the other toes, sometimes even crossing over them. In response to the additional crowding, you might notice your other toes developing corns, calluses, or other deformities, like hammertoe. 

Having a surgically corrected bunion at this point is important for preserving the big toe and the rest of your toes. 

3. Your bunion is interfering with your mobility

You may not realize it, but your toes play a big role in your mobility. With a bunion, changes in your big toe can make walking and performing other activities a lot harder — and more painful. 

The change in your toe shape can alter your balance, too. If your bunion is taking a toll on your mobility, it’s probably time to consider bunion surgery.

4. Your bunion makes it difficult to find comfortable shoes

The lump formed by a bunion can make it very hard to find footwear that fits properly. While you can squeeze your foot into athletic shoes or casual footwear with cloth uppers, dressier shoes can prove especially difficult to fit. Bunion surgery removes the lump by realigning your toe so shoes fit normally again.

5. Your bunion is causing a lot of pain

Milder bunions and bunions in their early stages may be soothed with ice, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, padding, and stretching. For more advanced bunions, finding relief can be difficult, if not impossible. Surgery helps relieve this type of pain by addressing the underlying joint dysfunction and repositioning the toe.

6. Conservative options aren’t working

One of the biggest reasons to have bunion surgery is also one of the simplest: Conservative bunion treatment options simply aren’t working to provide relief. While stretching, ice, pain medicine, and similar options can be effective in the earliest stages of a mild bunion, if they’re not relieving your bunion symptoms, surgery is an excellent next step.

7. You’re embarrassed by how your bunion looks

Finally, it’s important to note that bunions can cause emotional symptoms, too. Many people with bunions don’t want to go barefoot or wear sandals simply because they’re embarrassed by their misshapen feet. If that’s you, bunion surgery could be just what you want.

Learn more about bunion treatment

Bunions won’t go away on their own. They require medical treatment to correct the deformity and prevent complications. To learn more about bunion treatments, including surgery, request an appointment online or over the phone with the Forward Foot & Ankle team today.