Now the sun is out, days are longer and the holiday season is here again. Are you perusing some new summer shoes? Will it be sandals, flip-flops, espadrilles, pretty heels or wedges this summer? Or is wearing an open shoe less of a treat and more of an uncomfortable experience? As well as looking unsightly, bunions can also very painful, particularly when the footwear presses on the bunion, like the strap of a sandal.
Wearing wider shoes, using bunion pads and painkillers are all good first line treatments and can make bunions more manageable. If these measures are not enough, to ease the discomfort, you might need to consider surgical treatment to correct the bunion, which removes the painful bump, realigns the big toe and relieves pain. Bunions will get worse with time and gradually the second toe can become deformed and painful (a hammer toe).
Surgery can be carried out under a local or general anaesthetic and is a day case procedure. Mr David Gordon, Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon, performs bunion surgery using Minimally Invasive Techniques, where several very small incisions are used rather than one large cut. This has the advantages of smaller scars, less swelling and less chance of permanent stiffness in the big toe. Bunion surgery can have a dramatic effect on how you look and feel, Susan, who was treated by Mr Gordon (at Spire Harpenden) is delighted with the results "Two months later I have minimal swelling, a lovely straight toe and I am walking and exercising normally, (having religiously followed the recuperation advice from Mr Gordon)." Gill, whose high heels made her bunion painful, is now able to step back into the shoes she loves with confidence "I had my surgery with Mr Gordon on 3rd November and was back on the tennis court by the end of December! Today 3/4 months post-surgery I am delighted. I have no pain, no swelling and am able to wear all types of shoes including high heels!"
Mr Gordon's tips for those suffering with bunions:
- Make sure your shoes are comfortable and fit well, especially by increasing the width. Although they may look great, tight pointy high heels are the worst offenders and should be avoided for long term wear.
- Use a bunion pad to reduce pressure on your toe
- Take pain killers to reduce the discomfort you feel
- If you've reached the point where the only shoes you find comfortable are those that make you feel considerably older, then surgery may the answer.