If you have a bunion, then you have the choice of sticking with conservative treatments or opting for a surgical bunionectomy procedure. The decision is a personal one, but there are some signs that you should be looking at your surgical options sooner than later. Keep reading to find out about a few of these signs.
You Have Tried Conservative Treatments For Years
Conservative treatments are a good option for mild bunion conditions that can easily be controlled. Some of these treatments include the use of orthotics, cushioning inserts, wide shoes with good arch support, and reduced activity. Braces are sometimes used as well, but these conservative treatments can fail if you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day.
When you continue to place pressure on your big toes, the toe will continue to angle inward. This creates a larger metatarsal angle, where the metatarsal bone angles outward more and more, creating a metatarsal joint that progressively misaligns. As this happens, you will notice that the big toe overlaps over the other toes, even with attempts at treatment.
You should also know that if you have tried conservative treatments for years, then you have likely developed a bunion condition early in life. When bunions pop up in your 20s or 30s, then there is a good chance that your condition will progress to the point that a bunionectomy is required.
You Are In Significant Pain
Some people simply do not feel a great deal of discomfort when a bunion forms. They may be able to shift the gait slightly to place less pressure on the toe, or damage may not be as significant within the joint. However, others experience exceptional amounts of pain regardless of the actual joint damage. This may be due to the formation of bone spurs, scar tissue, or nerve damage within the toe.
You should be speaking with your podiatrist about surgical intervention when pain levels are considered moderate to severe. The professional can investigate the reason for the pain so that a surgical operation can be tailored to your condition. For example, scar tissue and bone spurs can be removed and the soft tissues can be realigned. Also, if it appears that the joint does not have enough support, hardware may be required.
If you want to know more about bunions and whether or not surgery is a good choice for you, speak with a doctor who offers bunionectomy treatments.