Can Bunions Be Reversed? (2024)

Bunions take years to develop. No one suddenly wakes up in the morning to find a newly formed bunion on the side of their foot. Rather, bunions develop after years –– in many instances decades –– of pressure placed on part of the foot due to improper alignment. The bad news here is that when a bunion forms and starts to grow, it will usually continue to get worse. Bunions that are left untreated over time do not go away on their own. So, can bunions be reversed? The short answer is no. While there are numerous tools and treatments available over the counter to help relief pain associated with bunions, the only way to get rid of a bunion for good is by treating it at the source, which must be done through surgery.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a bony bump that can form at the base of your big toe. Bunions occur when an imbalance of pressure is placed on your foot, causing your bones to move out of place. Bunions are quite common, with around 1 in 3 adults experiencing this issue at some point during their lives. Bunions can be uncomfortable, and when left untreated, can become extremely painful and can prevent people from resuming daily activities such as walking, driving, or sleeping comfortably. Bunions that are left untreated cannot be reversed, and are likely to get worse with time.

How Do Bunions Form?

Anyone can develop bunions. Contrary to popular belief, bunions can affect people of all ages. While some people may be predisposed to have bunions due to the natural shape of their foot, the truth is that everyone can experience them (and nearly 1 in 3 adults will at some point). Bunions are caused by an imbalance of ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the foot. One of the most common causes of bunions is improper footwear. High heels and other tight-fitting shoes can restrict the foot and exacerbate the development of bunions, as well as shoes that are the wrong size. This is one reason why women traditionally have more bunions than men, though it is possible for men to have bunions as well.

Bunions are not genetic, but they can occur as a result of the natural shape of one’s foot, leading some individuals to be at higher risk of developing this issue naturally than others.

Bunion Relief

Unfortunately, nonsurgical methods for treating bunions are largely ineffective. Over the counter treatments, toold, and products such as pads, cushions, and specialized footwear are not designed to treat the root cause of bunions. These methods are meant to provide short-term relief to bunion pain –– not to realign the foot or to diminish the bunion. While these methods can be helpful for temporarily relieving pain associated with bunions, in order to experience permanent relief, bunions need to be surgically removed.

Bunion Removal

Since bunions can’t be reduced through stretching the foot or by using products like bunion pads or correctors –– and since bunions won’t disappear over time –– the only way to have unsightly and painful bunions removed is through surgery.

Many patients are hesitant to undergo bunion surgery as it is often regarded by patients and physicians alike as one of the most painful medical procedures. The good news is that when it comes to bunion surgery, patients today have options.

It’s true that traditional bunion surgery is often painful, as it often uses permanent hardware, leaving scars on the foot and forcing long recovery times –– sometimes in excess of six months.

At Northwest Surgery Center, patients can undergo minimally invasive bunion surgery and have their bunions removed in just a couple of hours without permanent hardware. Minimally invasive surgery is an outpatient procedure, and most patients are able to walk out of the clinic on their own and drive home afterward. What’s more, minimally invasive surgery is just that –– meaning the surgeon will only make several very small incisions in order to remove the bunion. As such, the recovery time is much shorter than traditional bunion surgeries.

The thought of undergoing surgery for the removal of bunions can be daunting, but thanks to minimally invasive bunion surgery at Northwest Surgery Center, removing bunions can be fast and painless, so patients can resume their normal lives free from bunion pain sooner.

In Conclusion

Bunions are extremely painful and, when left untreated, the pain only worsens. Over the counter products and treatments do not treat bunion pain at the source, requiring individuals to undergo surgery in order to experience permanent relief.

Bunions will only get worse over time – the sooner you opt to receive treatment such as minimally invasive surgery, the sooner you can begin living without pain, and resume your usual activities such as walking, driving, and sleeping comfortably.

Contact Us

Our team at Northwest Surgery Center is committed to helping people who are suffering from foot pain as a result of bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs, and other common conditions. We are experts in minimally invasive surgery for the treatment of issues such as bunions, and can make bunion removal as simple and pain free for patients as possible. Using only the most innovative techniques to ensure positive outcomes for our patients, our team of expert medical professionals have years of experience, and can remove bunions and put you on the path to healing today.

Contact us here to learn more about minimally invasive surgery for the removal of bunions or to schedule an appointment today!

Can Bunions Be Reversed? (2024)


Has anyone ever reversed a bunion? ›

Bunions can't be reversed, and unfortunately, they don't go away on their own. Once you have a bunion, it will likely continue to grow over time. Luckily, many people don't need to have surgery to treat their bunions.

Has anyone corrected a bunion without surgery? ›

Other non-surgical treatments for bunions include injections of cortisone or oral anti-inflammatory medication and wearing custom-made shoes that accommodate the bunion deformity. Both help provides comfort and relieve pain, but do not reduce the abnormal angles that underlie the bunion deformity.

Can a bunion reverse itself? ›

Bunions that are left untreated cannot be reversed, and are likely to get worse with time.

How can I shrink my bunions naturally? ›

  1. Massage and Exercise Your Feet. One of the simplest ways to treat your bunions without surgery is to, in fact, exercise your feet. ...
  2. Take a Paracetamol. ...
  3. Soak Your Feet in a Foot Bath. ...
  4. Ice Your Feet. ...
  5. Put Your Feet Up! ...
  6. Try Castor Oil. ...
  7. Try Bunion Pads. ...
  8. Try Bunion Splints.
Jul 20, 2022

When is it too late to fix a bunion? ›

Patients commonly ask if they are too old for bunion surgery. The answer to this complex question is largely based on individual risk factor assessment. Advanced age alone does not preclude bunion surgery but certain age-related conditions can increase the likelihood of compromised healing and poor outcome.

Can toe spreaders reverse bunions? ›

Although toe separators can help prevent overlapping toes, there is no evidence to suggest that they will cure your bunions or provide any long-term correction for misaligned toes. They may provide some short-term relief but unfortunately the effects will not last and they certainly will not get rid of your bunions.

Is walking barefoot good for bunions? ›

Going barefoot is ideal in the beginning stages of bunions. When barefoot, the joints of the toes will get stronger, an important part of good foot health.

What happens if you never get bunion surgery? ›

If left untreated, a bunion can cause arthritis, especially if the joint in the big toe has sustained extensive, long-term damage.

Why avoid bunion surgery? ›

While this procedure is often used to reduce pain and improve the appearance of the foot, it can also lead to permanent changes in the natural shape and alignment of the bones in your foot/feet, which will affect the biomechanics of your feet and how they absorb pressures when you walk, stand, climb, run, etc.

Do bunion socks really work? ›

Bunion correctors and guards do have a place in the treatment of bunions, but it may not be what you think. Unfortunately, there is no medical research or data to support the claim that bunion correctors straighten the big toe. If your bunions are pretty severe, no plastic or elastic device is going to correct them.

How do I stop my bunion from coming back? ›

Your Options for Avoiding Another Bunion
  1. Physical rehabilitation.
  2. Removable splints.
  3. Custom orthotics.
  4. Lifestyle changes.

Does insurance cover bunion surgery? ›

Bunion surgery costs depend on the type of surgery you have, where you have the procedure, your health insurance or Medicare coverage, and more. Generally, if your bunion pain is leading to physical limitations, and surgery is deemed medically necessary by your podiatrist, insurance will cover the procedure.

Why do bunions get big? ›

Bunions are usually caused by prolonged pressure put on the feet that compresses the big toe and pushes it toward the second toe. Over time, the condition may become painful as extra bone grows where the base of the big toe meets the foot.

What does Epsom salt do for bunions? ›

Soaking your feet in the water a few times a week can help reduce pain and inflammation. You can also add Epsom salt in warm water. The magnesium in salt can help stave off soreness and soothe your bunion.

Is Vicks VapoRub good for bunions? ›

Vicks VapoRub

Sounds crazy, right? But, according to the NIH, menthol and camphor — two of the active ingredients in Vicks VapoRub — may help soothe inflamed joints and muscles by acting as a topical anesthetic. Treating bunions with Vicks may provide temporary, superficial pain relief.

Can you really correct a bunion? ›

You cannot get rid of bunions or stop them getting worse yourself, but there are things you can do to ease any pain.

Why can't a bunion be reversed? ›

It's only in advanced cases where you have had a significant level of osteoarthritic change or a bone change that we cannot reverse a bunion and this is more in the advanced stages.

Why did my bunion grow back? ›

Even in situations where the bones of the foot have been realigned to reduce the pain and deformity of the bunion, a person's foot structure can cause a bunion to reform later. It may be several years before bunions appear again but it can happen.

What percentage of bunions come back after surgery? ›

A question I am often asked! One of the many reasons I carry out keyhole bunion corrections rather than traditional open 'scarf' surgery is due to the potential reduced bunion recurrence rates with a minimally-invasive technique. Recurrence rates for bunion surgery have been reported as high as 16%.


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