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Lesley asked...

Stop bunions from getting bigger

Hi can you tell me if I can stop bunions from getting bigger? Looking at my foot they are not prominate but I can feel them plus it's tender. I have started wearing trainers to work, bare feet around the house and flat pumps where possible, I was told by wearing. Toe separators (to paint your toe nails) when I'm sitting at night that this would help

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The answer

Thank you for your question.

Bunions can be troublesome. By definition they are a bony deformity of the joint at the bone of the big toe. They are more common in women than men, (usually due to the style of footwear), and can run in families.

Symptoms can include;

  • Bony, sometimes swollen bump n the outer edge of the foot
  • Pain may be present or worsened by pressure from footwear
  • The skin may become hardened, callused and/or red in colour
  • The skin over the Bunion may become sore

From what you have said, you seem to be doing as much as possible to treat your small bunion, but symptoms may get worse as you get older.

An assessment and examination by your GP may be suggested, as symptoms can get worse if left untreated. You may be referred for an X-ray to determine the severity of the Bunion.

Symptom relief can include;

  • Oral pain relief
  • Bunion pads & insoles (available from your Pharmacy)
  • Well fitting shoes, (ensuring the correct size & that you can move your toes freely)
  • Cooling ice /gel packs (but please be careful if using this method as you can cause ice burn)

Severe cases may require surgical intervention by a Specialist (which your G.P may refer you to) but the Bunions can sometimes return. If left untreated they can cause Arthritis in the big toe.

We hope you have found this information of use, and we have included some links below, if you wish to read further on this subject.

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Bunion/Pages/Treatment.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Bunion/Pages/Causes.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Bunion/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.scpod.org/foot-health/common-foot-problems/bunions/

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses