There are several variables to this question. So, let’s try to work our way through it.
1) How long have you been aware of the Bunion?
This may not come as a huge surprise but the sooner you treat a bunion the better the long term outcome, the more likely you are to avoid surgery and the quicker the recovery. Usually the longer the bunion is left the more likelihood you will have to consider surgery and your conservative management options are reduced. The great news is the that there are some excellent conservative management options available the main being foot mobilisation which is a hand on technique that corrects the alignment of the big toe and addresses the underlying causes. If the bunion is treated in the mild to moderate stages, there can be significant recovery within 6 weeks.
The difficulty if the bunion is advanced your only option may be bunion surgery. The challenge here is that the surgery is a very involved process and the recovery is significant. Whist the initial recovery is very intense for 6 weeks and can be very painful, the swelling may be evident for months after. Not to mention the risks associated with surgery.
The main message here is trying to treat a bunion early, keep in mind many people start to get a bunion as early as 12.
2) Is your bunion painful or not?
Pain is not always a great indicator of the stage of your bunion and the problem is that pain is often the last stage. Often if a bunion is left it will lead to osteoarthritis which cannot be reversed.
When we do see painful bunion, we can usually get a significant improvement in the way it feels within a month of treatment. Given that a bunion affects 1 in three Australians we get to see a lot of bunions in fact up to 70% of our practice is the conservative management of bunions.
The great news is that for most bunions we see is that we see a significant recovery within 6 weeks. It’s only in very advanced case that we can’t help so we strongly encourage people to come in asap to limit the likely hood of needing surgery. Foot mobilisation is an effective treatment for bunions it is a hands on technique that corrects the alignment of the foot and helps to improve the function of the foot-long term.
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