5 ways to avoid bunion surgery

August 12, 2011 1:14:17 PM PDT
Whether you are a fashion victim or a fashionista, most women know that fashion comes at a price. However, it can hurt a lot more than just your wallet.

Unfortunately, wearing all those really pretty platform stilettos can result in an embarrassing and painful condition - bunions. However, there are some simple solutions to avoid having to undergo surgery.

"I was like, why do I have pain here? Then I realized the bone was popping out, and I was like 'oh gee, a bunion!'" said Kenya Salley, who suffers from this condition.

Salley is a nurse, which means she's always on her feet. Like so many women, she has a bunion on her foot located at the small bump at the bottom of her big toe.

Bunions can also be genetic, but they're often caused from cramming your feet into those sexy, pointy high heel shoes.

"I'm a person who loves heels so it's a very big problem for me," added Salley.

Dr. Neal Blitz is the chief of foot surgery at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. Dr. Blitz says that most people think a bunion is a growth on the bone, but that is not true. It is actually caused when the bone itself is pushed outward.

When a bunion is severe and painful, surgery is often the only solution. But, Dr. Blitz has five quick ways to try and avoid surgery and keep your bunion from getting worse.

The first solution, Dr. Blitz says, is a splint that you can wear at night. This holds the bunion in the right, stable position for when you sleep.

"Another thing to do in your everyday work life is to wear some sort of arch support," Dr. Blitz added.

The arch support increases stability so the bone doesn't move further.

Another thing you can consider trying is a toe spacer.

"This is great if you have a mild bunion you can see it's going to prevent the big toe from going over in general," said Dr. Blitz.

Also, you can prevent pain by using a bunion pad. The pad cushions the bump, and is a combination of the spacer and the pad.

Of course, the most important tip is to try to limit the amount of time you spend in those high heel shoes.