Bunions are bony lumps that form on the side of the feet. Surgery is the only way to get rid of them, but there are things you can do to ease any pain they cause.
Symptoms of bunions include:
You may also have pain along the side or bottom of your feet. This is usually worse when wearing shoes and walking.
You cannot get rid of bunions or stop them getting worse yourself, but there are things you can do to relieve any pain:
wear wide shoes with a low heel and soft sole
hold an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) to the bunion for up to 5 minutes at a time
try bunion pads (soft pads you put in shoes to stop them rubbing on a bunion) – you can buy these from pharmacies
take paracetamol or ibuprofen
try to lose weight if you're overweight
do not wear high heels or tight, pointy shoes
The GP might refer you to a foot specialist (podiatrist).
You can also pay to see a foot specialist privately.
A GP or podiatrist can advise you about:
A GP may refer you to a surgeon if your bunions are very painful or having a big effect on your life.
Surgery is not done just to improve how your feet look.
Surgery is the only way to get rid of bunions.
The main operation for bunions is an osteotomy.
Surgery is usually done when you're asleep under general anaesthetic.
Most people go home the same day.
It can take a while to recover from surgery.
You'll usually need to:
After the operation:
Bunions sometimes come back after surgery.
The cause of bunions is unknown. It's not clear if you can do anything to prevent them.
It might help to: