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Diagnosis and Treatment of Bunions

Diagnosis and Treatment of Bunions


A person can usually tell they have a bunion by looking at their feet.  There will usually be a bump on the side of the big toe.  However, it is best to have x-rays taken to determine what has all changed in the structure of your foot.  Bunions do not go away and usually get worse over time.  After you see a podiatrist a treatment plan can be put in place that is best suited to your needs.


Sometimes it is best to just have your bunion evaluated periodically along with x-rays to find out if your deformity is worsening.  It is best to have periodic evaluations so that no irreversible damage is caused to the joint.  There are a few options to help ease the pain, even though they won’t reverse the bunion.

-Change up the shoes.  Choose a shoe with a wide toe box and try to avoid anything with a pointed toe or high heels.  These may aggravate the bunion.

-Bunion pads. They are placed over the bunion and sometimes help minimize the pain.

-Modify activities. Standing for a long period of time and other activities may irritate the bunion and cause pain.  These types of activities should be avoided in uncomfortable shoes.

-Medications. Over the counter medication may help relieve the pain.

-Icing. Placing an ice pack on the bunion a few times a day may help reduce the inflammation and pain.

-Injection therapy.   This is rarely used, but sometimes a corticosteroid injection may be used to treat an inflamed bursa.  A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that is located in the toe joint.

-Orthotic devices. A custom orthotic may be provided by a podiatrist to treat the functional foot problems.

There are some cases of bunions that will need surgery.  If the pain from a bunion is interfering with your daily activities this may be a case that needs surgery, but should be talked over with your podiatrist.

If you are having pain from a bunion it is best to make an appointment with Dr. Brian Gale, DPM, FACFAS to see what treatment options are best for you.  Call Our Bismarck Office today at 701-255-3338 or go online to request an appointment

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