A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe joint. Left untreated, it will progress. Then, the bump will become larger, causing pain and making it difficult to wear shoes. Worse, a progressing bunion can affect your toes, leaving you with a hammertoe, as well as sore, red or swollen skin around the big toe joint. For that reason, it’s important to explore your bunion treatment options as soon as you notice a bump forming.
Treating Bunions without Surgery
Without surgery, our podiatrist in Powder Springs, GA can still reduce your bunion pain. We may even be able to stop a small bunion from getting larger. Non-surgical bunion treatment option include changing your shoes to select wider pairs. At this point, you should also avoid high heels, since they can put more pressure on your forefoot. Adding orthotics to your shoes can also help manage pain and stop progression.
You can also reduce your pain with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium. Adding pads to your shoes, or bracing your affected foot may also. And you may find relief by icing and gently massaging your affected foot.
Now, all of these non-surgical treatment options can provide pain relief. They may help your bunion stay at its current size. But they won’t shrink or ‘cure’ your bunion. For that, you’ll need to seek one of the bunion treatment options highlighted below.
Lapiplasty® is a new way to correct bunions while addressing the root cause of the deformity. Using specially patented technology, the procedure addresses three different metatarsal deformities involved in bunion formation. And, because it addresses these three different dimensions of bone movements, it’s also called 3D bunion surgery.
To start, the procedure stops the metatarsal bone from leaning sideways. Then, it addresses the abnormal bone rotation, a main contributor to arthritis. Finally, Lapiplasty keeps your bone from moving upward, which keeps pressure off the other toes on your foot. Once these corrections are complete, we fuse your unstable toe joint to the metatarsal bone using titanium plates. This provides you with the stability you need to keep your bunion from returning after surgery.
While Lapiplasty is a fairly new bunion treatment option, it’s also a really exciting one. Why is that the case? When you choose this procedure, we can use a patented instrument to simultaneously hold all three dimensions of your metatarsal bone in their proper position, before Dr. Cowans makes a single incision. After placement is secured, he’s guided by a specialized instrument, so that every incision is precise.
But Lapiplasty doesn’t just change the bunion operating game. It also changes the post-op recovery. Because, when you choose this treatment, there’s a good chance that you can bear weight or even walk on your affected foot within a few days of your procedure. Now, you’ll still need to wear a walking boot for up to eight weeks after Lapiplasty. And you’ll have to avoid high impact activities such as running for quite some time after that. Still, when you choose 3D bunion treatment, you’ll have a faster and less restricted recovery period than you would with other treatment options.
Bunion Treatment Options: MIS
Another new treatment option is the MIS procedure, which involves Dr. Cowans making three small incisions in your foot so he can place a stabilizing nail at the point where your bunion forms. With this procedure, the surgical tools are also different, which allows for these smaller incisions. As such, it’s considered a minimally invasive surgery, which is why choosing the MIS procedure means you’ll have an easier recovery period and a cosmetically desirable outcome.
Traditional Bunion Surgery
If you have a traditional bunion procedure, we’ll surgically reposition your bones in order to get your toes re-aligned. In turn, this will relieve structural changes in your muscles, tendons and ligaments, and should address any changes in your joint.
The exact nature of your bunion surgery will depend on the severity of your deformity. If you have a very large bunion, fusing your TMT joint may be your best bunion treatment option. But, if you choose this procedure, you may notice reduced mobility after your surgery. Other surgical options can correct your bunion without impacting your long-term mobility. Still, with any traditional form of bunion surgery, you should expect an extended recovery period during which you may not be able to bear weight. Even after your recovery foot, you may notice scarring on your foot, though we always do our best to avoid undesirable cosmetic outcomes.
Choosing Between Bunion Treatment Options in Powder Springs, GA
Here’s the one fact we need you to remember about bunions. The sooner you seek treatment, the more treatment options you will enjoy. Have you already noticed a bump forming at the base of your pinky toe or big toe joint? Don’t wait at home and hope it goes away—it won’t! Instead, schedule an immediate appointment with Dr. Alvin Cowans at Optimum Podiatry. After a thorough diagnostic exam, he’ll recommend the most effective—and least invasive—available treatment option!