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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are bunions only correctable by surgery?

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    Anthony Short

    Podiatrist (General)

    Anthony Short BAppSc(Pod) MPod hold both Bachelor and Master level degrees in podiatry, and works in private practice, hospital and educational positions within Brisbane. His … View Profile

    The basic answer is yes. Only surgery will physically reposition the bones around the big toe joint back to its correct alignment so that the visible ‘bump’ on the side of the foot is reduced.

    Other interventions, such as stretching, mobilisation and orthotics, may slow the progression of the deformity or control pain and symptoms around the joint. This is particularly the case if there are other contributory factors (eg muscle disorders causing the foot to collapse) causing the bunion to develop. They will be much less effective if there is a family history of bunions.

    Surgery is usually a relatively safe and reliable method of correcting the deformity, and addressing any concurrent arthritis affecting the joint due to this misalignment. However, all surgery carries some risk and the more common complications include infection, under or over correction, ongoing pain and swelling, and DVT.

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