Bunions often start off as a minor annoyance, but as they become progressively worse, they start to interfere with your ability to wear shoes and walk comfortably. At some point, most people with bunions do end up having surgery. However, as the surgical process can be a bit arduous to recover from, doctors often recommend that patients put off bunion surgery until it is really necessary. How do you know if the time has come to have bunions surgery? Start by asking yourself these questions.
Are non-surgical treatments still offering you relief?
Mild to moderate bunion pain can often be managed with icing the foot, soaking it in Epsom salts, and perhaps wearing a splint when you'll be on your feet for more than a few hours. If these methods are still working for you, then you probably don't need to have bunion surgery quite yet. However, if the pain has begun to linger in spite of using these treatments, you may need to schedule a surgery appointment. Using pain relieving medications occasionally is no major concern, but if you have to pop a couple of Advil just to get out the door in the morning, it's time to take action before the frequent pain reliever use starts causing side effects like stomach bleeding and ulcers.
Are you getting a lot of sores on the bunion?
One of the main problems with bunions is that they tend to rub on shoes, leading to sores and blisters. If you can put a splint on your foot and prevent this from happening, then you don't have to be too worried. But if you're getting sores in spite of buying larger shoes, selecting your socks carefully, and wearing your splint, it may be time for surgery. Sores that won't heal are often prone to infection, so it's better to correct the bunion before you also have to deal with an infection.
Can you find shoes that fit?
When bunions get so bad that you cannot find shoes to fit you comfortably, then it's often time for surgery. Nobody likes having to wear sneakers and flip flops to the office because they are the only shoes that will fit. Surgery will straighten your foot out so you can return to wearing a smaller shoe size.
If you're still not sure whether or not you're ready for surgery, schedule an evaluation with a podiatrist in your area.