A painful bunion can be a disruptive force. If left untreated, bunions can cause serious discomfort, force people to alter the way they walk, and even prevent them from engaging in normal daily activities. So if you’re currently experiencing bunion pain, it’s natural to wonder about the treatment options available to you. However, a bunion brace may or may not prove beneficial to you –– depending on your situation. While bunion braces can be somewhat helpful following bunion surgery, they are unlikely to provide much relief before a bunion is removed. We’ll explain why that is the case here:
What are Bunions?
Bunions are bony masses that form as a result of imbalances and internal pressures within the foot. They typically develop along the big toe joint, though they can also occur next to the little toe as well. Bunions may not produce pain at first, but, if left untreated, they can cause significant discomfort. That’s particularly true for people who experience arthritis in conjunction with bunions. Bunions also tend to get larger over time.
Non-Surgical Bunion Treatment Options
Many people who experience bunions first look to non-surgical methods to address them. This may be understandable, but it is not advisable. That’s because the only way to get rid of a bunion is to have it surgically removed. Bunion splints, sleeves, pads, cushions, and braces do not address the root cause of bunions. At best, these devices may provide temporary pain relief from bunions. But they will not reduce, reverse, or cure bunions.
Minimally invasive bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means that most patients who undergo minimally invasive bunion surgery are able to walk out of the operating room under their own power and resume many daily activities immediately.
There are many variations of bunion surgery, but a large number involve the removal of the bunion (bunionectomy) as well as the correction of the misalignment that caused the bunion in the first place. As opposed to traditional bunion surgeries, minimally invasive procedures cause less pain, produce less residual scarring, and dramatically reduce recovery times. Which leads us to our final point . . .
Postoperative Bunion Braces
As we established above, bunion braces are largely ineffective at treating bunions on their own. They can be effective, though, in assisting with recovery following bunion surgery. Bunion splints and/or braces can help stretch tendons and ligaments in the foot and break apart scar tissue following the procedure. They can also ensure the tendons, ligaments, and bones in the foot maintain their proper shape as they heal. Proper healing following a bunion procedure can help ensure that an individual doesn’t experience further bunions in the future.
All told, an individual may need to wear a bunion brace or a postoperative shoe for a period of 1-5 weeks following bunion surgery –– depending on the severity of their case.
At Northwest Surgery Center, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about bunions or bunion treatments. Our expert team has years of experience, and we have an in-depth knowledge of common conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and heel spurs. Contact us here to learn more.