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Bunions - What treatments work for bunions?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

If you have bunions, they may hurt and make it hard for you to walk and wear shoes. And you may worry that they will get worse. But treatments can help.

Some simple treatments can help your bunions hurt less. But only an operation can get rid of them. Your doctor may suggest surgery if your bunions are causing you a lot of problems.

This information is about treating bunions in adults. If your child has bunions, see Bunions in children.

Key points about treating bunions

  • Wearing insoles in your shoes can protect your big toe and support your foot. Insoles may help your bunion hurt less in the short term.

  • We don't know if splints you wear at night help.

  • Only surgery can get rid of your bunion.

  • There are more than 100 types of operations for bunions. The type you have depends on things such as how bad your bunion is.

  • Most people have fewer problems after bunion surgery. But your big toe may not be perfectly straight and free of pain afterwards. And it may take up to one year to get better.

  • We need more research to know the best way to hold your bones in place after surgery, the best cover for your foot, and how soon you should start putting weight on it.

There are several treatments for bunions. But which treatment works best? We've looked at the research and given a rating for each treatment according to how well it works.

For help in deciding which treatment is best for you, see How to make the best decisions about treatment.

Treatments for bunions

Treatments that are likely to work
  • Bunion surgery called osteotomy: In this surgery, your bony bump is taken out and the bones in your toe joint are cut and put back into line with each other. This can get rid of your bunion and help you walk more easily. More...

Treatments that need further study Other treatments

We haven't looked at the research on these treatments in the same detail we have for the other treatments we cover. (To find out more, see Our method.) But we've included some information in case you're interested or have questions.



Arthritis is when your joints become inflamed, making them stiff and painful. There are different kinds of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type. It happens when the cartilage at the end of your bones becomes damaged and then starts to grow abnormally. Rheumatoid arthritis happens because your immune system attacks the lining of your joints.

For more terms related to Bunions


For references related to Bunions click here.
Last Updated: May 16, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
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