When Do Bunions Require Surgery?

Feb 13, 2023
When Do Bunions Require Surgery?
If you’re worried that surgery is the only option when it comes to treating your bunion, don’t fret. There are many treatments when it comes to this foot deformity. Find out how to treat your bunion at home and when surgery might be necessary.

Bunions can be a real pain. This foot deformity causes the joint in your big toe to point inward rather than straight ahead. This can result in a stiff, painful joint.

Babak Kosari, DPM, FACFAS, is an expert podiatrist who knows that not all bunions are created equal. At his practice in Valencia and Northridge in Los Angeles County, California, he tailors a treatment plan for you, which may or may not require surgery.

Explaining bunions

It’s pretty hard to miss a bunion since it forms a fairly severe deformity not only in your big toe but the surrounding toes as well. Because of this, bunions can lead to other foot conditions, including:

  • Corns and calluses
  • Blisters and sores
  • Hammertoe, a condition that causes middle toes to stay in a curled position
  • Bursitis, when the cushioning in your toe joints becomes inflamed
  • Metatarsalgia, which causes pain and swelling in the foot
  • Skin and bone infections, which you’re more apt to get if you have diabetes

These conditions can cause additional foot pain and can make it difficult to get around. 

Treating bunions

The good news is that there are options for treating bunions, and Dr. Kosari recommends starting with the most conservative method first. He tailors your treatment plan to your individualized needs.

To start, Dr. Kosari looks to see how severe your bunion is and whether there are other issues present like hammertoe or bursitis. 

In many cases, Dr. Kosari can help relieve your bunion pain by using conservative treatment methods such as:

  • Bunion pads and taping
  • Comfortable and supportive shoes
  • Custom orthotics
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Icing

If the pain persists or worsens or if your deformity is severe, surgery might be the best next step.

When is surgery necessary?

Dr. Kosari always relies on foot surgery as a last resort, but sometimes it can offer the best solution for severe foot deformities. During surgery, Dr. Kosari uses surgical tools to remove swollen tissue and also realigns the bones in your foot.

In most cases, you can walk immediately after your bunion procedure, but it may take weeks or even months to heal completely

Next steps

If you need expert podiatric care for your bunions, don’t hesitate to contact our office in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles or the Valencia neighborhood of Santa Clarita, California. You can call us or use our online scheduler.