Will a Bunion Eventually Go Away on Its Own?

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You’ve got a bump at the base of your big toe, and it’s growing — you’ve got a bunion. What are the chances it’ll subside without treatment? Find out more here.

A big bump on your big toe joint, pain and stiffness, swelling and redness — these are the telltale signs of a bunion. If these symptoms sound familiar, you’re likely wondering what to do about it and hoping it’ll just go away on its own. 

Dr. Matthew Cerniglia understands those sentiments more than most. As one of the nation’s top board-certified podiatric surgeons, he sees many bunions and knows how frustrating it can be to deal with the symptoms.

At Ankle & Foot Institute of Texas in Fort Worth, Dr. Cerniglia diagnoses and treats all kinds of foot problems, from minor issues to complex conditions, including bunions. Here’s his advice about bunions.

Bunions 101

A bunion — also known as a hallux valgus — is a bony growth that forms on your toe joint. Bunions favor the base of the big toe, the metatarsophalangeal joint, but they can also form on the base of your pinky toe (tailor’s bunion or bunionette). 

Some bunions are congenital, meaning they run in families, appear in infancy, and have to do with abnormal bone structure. Other bunions develop during adolescence. Autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can sometimes lead to bunion formation.

However, most bunions develop from wearing narrow, pointy shoes, having improper foot mechanics, or working on your feet.

About a third of Americans have bunions, most are women, and more than 70% have at least one parent with a bunion. 

Do bunions go away on their own?

No. Once a bunion develops, it either remains for life or progresses and worsens, but it never goes away without treatment. 

The good news is that Dr. Cerniglia offers highly effective treatments to reduce or eliminate your bunion so you can return to pain-free standing and walking.

The best bunion treatments

The best approach to bunions is to avoid them altogether. If you already have a bunion, this may sound like late advice, but if you have one bunion, you could be prone to them, so follow these tips:

  • Wear wide, comfortable shoes with plenty of wiggle room
  • Go shoe shopping at the end of the day when your feet are slightly swollen
  • Ask Dr. Cerniglia about custom orthotics that support your feet
  • Have Dr. Cenriglia check your gait and foot mechanics

For bunions you already have, Dr. Cerniglia matches the treatment to the type and severity of the problem. For example, you may do well with simple foot pads, taping, or custom orthotics to relieve minor discomfort and prevent bunion progression.

You can also work with a physical therapist to alleviate bunion symptoms. Strengthening your feet, keeping them limber, and learning to stand and walk without putting too much pressure on the joints helps.

Dr. Cerniglia may recommend corticosteroid injections to deliver temporary relief, but they won’t cure your bunions. Once your toe joint becomes deformed, the best way to solve it is to have surgery.

There are several bunion surgery techniques, and Dr. Cerniglia has mastered them all. Regardless of the location or severity of your bunion, he’s the go-to expert for realigning toe joints. 

Don’t suffer from bunions — request an appointment online or call Ankle & Foot Institute of Texas today.