Bunions | Bupa UK
Treatment of bunions
Wearing the right shoes, using shoe inserts (orthoses) and padding, and taking painkillers can all help to ease your symptoms of a bunion. However, these treatments can't cure a bunion or stop it
getting worse. If you have severe pain or discomfort from a bunion, you may be advised to have an operation to correct it.
One of the most important things you can do is to wear the right footwear. You should try to wear flat, wide-fitting shoes with laces or an adjustable strap that fits you properly. You may also want
to place a bunion pad over your bunion to give it some protection from the pressure of your shoes. You can usually buy these pads from a pharmacy, or get them from your podiatrist or chiropodist. He
or she may also recommend a shoe insert, which can be moulded specifically to your foot. Shoe inserts aim to reduce the pain of your bunion by improving how you walk.
You can take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to help relieve the pain and inflammation of your bunion. Always follow the instructions in the patient information
leaflet that comes with your medicine. Medicines give temporary relief but they won't be able to cure your bunion or prevent it from getting worse.
If you have a bunion as a result of underlying arthritis, your GP may prescribe specific medicines to treat this.
If other treatments don't help and your bunion is very painful, you may be referred to an orthopaedic or a podiatric surgeon for assessment. There are over 130 different operations that can be
carried out to treat bunions. The simplest operations are called bunionectomies.
The majority of the operations aim to correct the alignment of your big toe. This will narrow your foot and straighten out your big toe joint as much as possible. An operation won't return your foot
back to normal, but most people find that surgery reduces their symptoms and improves the shape of their foot. The operation your surgeon will advise you to have will depend on how severe your bunion
is and whether or not you have arthritis.
For more information on bunion surgery, see Related topics.