You have probably seen the foot with a bunion, a common condition. Toes pointing laterally (in the direction of the little toe), and no bony bump at the base. the lump may be red and tender.
Even though bunions are obvious from the pain and unusual shape of the big toe, it’s still a good idea to see a certified podiatrist.
You’ll probably get X-rays of your bunion. You may also get blood tests if your doctor thinks that a type of arthritis such as gout or an infection may be causing the pain. With the results, your doctor can decide whether you need orthopedic shoes, custom made inserts, medication, surgery, or other treatment.
First, your doctor will check on why you have bunions. The cause will affect what treatment you need.
Your doctor might recommend a prescription or over-the-counter pain reliever, and medicine to relieve swelling and pain. You may also want to use a heating pad or warm foot bath to ease the immediate pain and discomfort. Some people find that ice packs help.
Some bunions may need surgery, but only if the symptoms are severe. You shouldn’t get surgery just because you don’t like the way the bunion makes your foot look, because the risks can outweigh the benefits.
You’ll want to talk with your doctor about what you can expect, and what the recovery will be like.
The surgery is called a bunionectomy. You may get it done in a hospital or a surgery center. You may get local anesthesia, which numbs the area, and sedation. Or you might get general anesthesia so you’re not awake for the procedure.