Do You Need to Treat Bunions That Don't Hurt?

Houston podiatrist recommends treating bunions that don't hurt with custom orthoticsThey often say, if it doesn't hurt, leave it alone. But, is this true? Especially when it comes to bunions. Hi, I'm Houston podiatrist, Dr. Andrew Schneider and bunions are one of the most common conditions that I see in my office. A bunion is a bump that forms on the base of the great toe and it happens because of faulty mechanics, instability of the foot and that's an instability that you inherit from a parent or from a grandparent.

What happens is the faulty pressure causes the metatarsal bone to rotate out, forming the bump on the side of the foot while the big toe shifts over the other way to meet the other toes. While this is often a painful condition, in many cases, it doesn't have any pain at all. My feeling is that there's no such thing as cosmetic surgery of the foot. If your foot doesn't hurt to me you're not a candidate for surgery, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't do anything. Because a bunion is progressive. If left to its own devices, it's just going to get bigger and bigger, and the toes going to move farther and farther over until it starts to hurt you. That's when we will entertain bunion surgery.

But what if we were able to stop a bunion from progressing? What if we were able to stabilize your foot to keep the bunion small, the way it is now and painless the way that it is now? Well, we can do that and we do it every day and we use it with a device called a custom orthotic. An orthotic is a shoe insert that's made specifically for you, that is going to provide stability and efficiency to your feet. It's going to help to remove the forces that are causing the deformity of the bunion in the first place and help to stop it, where it is and keep it without pain.

So if you find that you're developing a bunion, you start seeing a small bump on the side of your foot, or if you look at your feet and you see starting to think that it looks like your mother's or your grandmother's feet, it's the right time to come in. Don't wait for it to become a problem. Don't wait for it to become painful, come in and let's together, work and see how the bunion is forming so we can hopefully prevent it from becoming a problem in the future. The best kind of surgery is no surgery. Let's see if we can achieve that with you.

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Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.