What are the Different Types of Bunion Correction?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

The most common of foot problems, bunions are joint enlargements that take place at the base of a person's big toes. Their presence causes swelling, pain, and irritation for the bearer. Fortunately, there are many different types of bunion correction available to remedy this pain, largely through the use of different shoe wear.

High-heeled shoes can cause bunions.
High-heeled shoes can cause bunions.

While about one in three people will experience a bunion, women experience bunions more often than men. This is largely due to their choice of footwear. Different types of bunion correction based on choice of footwear can often help these bunion sufferers. Rather than narrow high-heeled shoes, people with bunions can switch to soft, pliable shoes that offer more comfort.

Severe bunions often require surgery.
Severe bunions often require surgery.

Foot support devices are among other different types of bunion correction. Arch supports are a popular choice to remedy the presence of bunions. Shoe padding can also help relieve pressure and cushion the bunion from severe pain. Sometimes shoes can even be stretched over the affected area as well.

Only when pain is unbearable is surgery an option for a bunion; it is not for cosmetic purposes.
Only when pain is unbearable is surgery an option for a bunion; it is not for cosmetic purposes.

Different types of bunion correction can also include simple at-home treatments for symptoms. Applying ice to the affected area can alleviate pain, as can wearing bunion night splints. Sometimes corns or calluses may be present, causing further symptoms and complications. These should be treated accordingly per the advice of a podiatrist, or foot doctor. Exercise may also be recommended to stop symptoms.

Some people affected with bunions can benefit from physical therapy. If a patient's range of motion is affected by his or her bunion, physical therapy can help extend the range. Symptoms can also be relieved through physical therapy. It should be noted that joint alignment cannot be returned to normal through this process.

In severe cases, surgery may be recommended. Usually this is only when the pain from the bunion becomes unbearable, preventing a patient from being able to walk in normal shoes. Surgical treatments are considered a last resort, and are not a form of cosmetic surgery. Podiatrists recommend attempting all other different types of bunion correction before considering an operation.

If left untreated, bunions can cause many other unwanted side effects. Bunions are considered progressive, growing over time. They can foster arthritis or general stiffness in some patients. A hammer toe, or a condition in which the the big toe overlaps with the second toe, can also develop. Feet may never appear "normal" again following the presence of a bunion, even after surgery.

Before advising a surgical procedure to remove a bunion, the podiatrist will first explore non-surgical options.
Before advising a surgical procedure to remove a bunion, the podiatrist will first explore non-surgical options.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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