What Happens When Bunions Are Left Untreated - Specialty Surgical Center (2024)

A bunion is a prominent bump on the side of the big toe that usually develops from wearing ill-fitted shoes frequently, or from prolonged pressure being applied to the joint at the base of the foot. Depending on the shape or size of feet, some individuals may be more likely to develop bunions than others. Although there are home remedies that could work at mitigating large and small bunions (bunionettes), surgery is typically the best option.

Bunion surgery may be necessary for those who experience intense, debilitating foot pain that interferes or limits everyday activities. At Specialty Surgical Center, our specialists can remove your bunion by fusing the big toe joint, reshaping or removing the metatarsal head (bump on toe joint), or by surgically cutting and realigning the big toe joint. Other methods may be required depending on the patient’s specific case.

If left untreated, a bunion can causearthritis, especially if the joint in the big toe has sustained extensive, long-term damage. Bunions may cause the cartilage in the joint to deteriorate. While bunions can be remedied through surgery, arthritis and the possibility of chronic pain are not curable. However, there are interventional treatment options that could help with discomfort.

Crossover toeis another problem people may encounter if they do not seek the surgery they need. When you have crossover toe, the second toe sits on top of your big toe. While it is usually caused by an irregular foot structure, having an untreated bunion puts you at greater risk of developing crossover toe.

These are just a few of the complications that could occur if patients do not receive the surgery or treatment they need. On top of increased risks of this condition, quality of life could also go down. Bunions have a reputation for getting worse over time, which could lead to various inconveniences like having the toes rub against each other causing pain while walking, or the inability to wear shoes that fit.

Inflammation from a bunion puts you at risk of developing other conditions and pain. If you’d like to have your bunion evaluated and surgically removed, please do not hesitate to contact one of our orthopedic surgeons who specialize in foot and ankle surgeries.

Specialty Surgical Center is located in Sparta, New Jersey and our staff consists of board certified surgeons and anesthesiologists performing procedures in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Spinal Care, Podiatry, Urology, Pain Management, ENT, Hand Surgery, Lithotripsy, Brachytherapy, GYN and Laser Surgery.

For more information about Specialty Surgical Center, call 973-940-3166 or visit ourContact Page.

« Radiation Oncology for P... Settling Your Pre-Surger... »

What Happens When Bunions Are Left Untreated - Specialty Surgical Center (2024)


What Happens When Bunions Are Left Untreated - Specialty Surgical Center? ›

If left untreated, a bunion can cause arthritis, especially if the joint in the big toe has sustained extensive, long-term damage. Bunions may cause the cartilage in the joint to deteriorate. While bunions can be remedied through surgery, arthritis and the possibility of chronic pain are not curable.

When is it too late for bunion surgery? ›

There's no cut-and-dry rule regarding an age limit for bunion surgery. Seniors can visit a podiatrist serving the Sugar Land area to find out if the procedure might be right for them.

What happens if a bunion goes untreated? ›

Sustained, extensive damage from an untreated bunion may cause the cartilage of the joint in your big toe to deteriorate and become inflamed causing osteoarthritis. It can also cause inflammation and swelling of the fluid-filled sac called bursae. These sacs act as cushions between the bones.

When is bunion surgery medically necessary? ›

You may need bunion surgery if you have severe foot pain that happens even when walking or wearing flat, comfortable shoes. Surgery may also be needed when chronic big toe inflammation and swelling isn't relieved with rest or medicines.

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.

Is bunion surgery high risk? ›

Unfortunately, the surgery can leave you worse off than before you had the surgery, which can mean more pain, swelling, and disability. Infection is another serious risk associated with bunion surgery. Infections can be severe and can lead to serious complications, such as amputation of the affected toe.

What percentage of bunion surgeries fail? ›

At UT Southwestern and many other U.S. hospitals, bunions can be corrected through a method called the modified Lapidus procedure, in which surgeons straighten and fuse the misaligned bones making up the first tarsometatarsal joint. However, in about 10% of these surgeries, the bones don't permanently fuse.

Is bunion surgery worth it? ›

Surgery may be right for you if your toe is too painful, if your bunion is very big, or if you can't easily do your daily activities. It's not clear how well bunion surgery works or which kind of surgery is best.

Can a bunion rupture? ›

As a bunion becomes more advanced, the bursa, fluid-filled sacs cushioning the joints, become inflamed and painful. This can become a chronic condition, leading to debilitating pain and inflammation. Left untreated, the bursa can rupture or become infected.

How do you know if a bunion is severe? ›

The main symptom is usually pain and redness at the bump itself, but patients may also feel pain at the ball of the foot, and stiffness in the big toe joint. Symptoms often progress as the bunion becomes more severe with a more prominent bump and big toe deviation under or over the smaller toes.

What is the new procedure for bunions? ›

Lapiplasty® is a new procedure using patented technology to correct not only the bunion, but its root cause. It straightens three dimensions of alignment of the metatarsal bone. First, it corrects the sideways lean of your metatarsal bone.

What does a severe bunion look like? ›

The signs and symptoms of a bunion include: A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe. Swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint. Corns or calluses — these often develop where the first and second toes rub against each other.

Why avoid bunion surgery? ›

The possible risks and complications of bunion surgery include: Infection. Nerve injury. Failure to relieve pain.

What kind of doctor is best for bunion surgery? ›

Although bunions can also be addressed by an orthopedic doctor, your best course of action is to see a podiatrist, who specializes in the treatment of conditions or injuries involving the foot or ankle.

How long is bed rest after bunion surgery? ›

In general, it takes about six weeks after bunion surgery for the bone to fully mend. But that doesn't mean you'll be laid up in bed for a month and a half. With a bunionectomy procedure like Bunionplasty®, created by Dr. Blitz, patients can walk the same day as their surgery.

How much does it cost to get a bunion removed? ›

Bunion correction surgery — also known as bunionectomy — usually costs about $6,000 or more per foot. Factors such as the complexity of the procedure and your insurance status will affect what you pay. If you have health insurance, your plan may cover some or all of the costs of the surgery.

What happens if you delay bunion surgery? ›

Putting Off Bunion Surgery

For starters, a bunion is considered a progressive condition, meaning that without intervention, it's only going to get worse. Bunions also get harder to treat as the problem progresses, so you shouldn't put off treatment.

What is considered a severe bunion? ›

In severe bunions, the big toe may angle all the way under or over the second toe. Pressure from the big toe may force the second toe out of alignment, causing it to come in contact with the third toe. This can result in hammer toe deformities of the smaller toes.

Do bunions get worse as you age? ›

Bunions develop gradually over time. Without the right care, like changing your footwear or using orthotics, bunions can get worse over time. As a person gets older and ages or gains weight, our feet spread and that worsens the problems already in place or triggers the development of bunions.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated:

Views: 6119

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.