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Bunions (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for Bunions

When a bunion causes persisting pain and tenderness, it is time to seek professional medical advice. However, even bunions that are not painful and bunions that are present in children should be evaluated. Orthotics and proper shoe gear may prevent or delay the progression of the bunion deformity by correction of the foot function (biomechanics).

Questions to Ask the Doctor

The following are important questions to ask the doctor:

  • Is this indeed a bunion, or is it some other disease? It should be noted that a number of other conditions commonly mimic bunions. These include hallux rigidus, bursitis, cysts, fibromas, gout, and arthritis.
  • What caused my bunion? Some causes are foot function in gait (biomechanics), trauma, neuromuscular disease, and ill-fitting shoes.
  • What are options for home care? A number of home-care options are available, including proper shoes, ice packs, cushioning pads, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID) for pain relief.
  • Do I need an operation? What are the benefits and risks of corrective surgery? Bunion surgery is indicated to alleviate pain and/or restore joint and foot function when conservative treatments aren't enough.
Last Reviewed 11/17/2017

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