Bunions are those misshapen big toes with giant lumps on the side. More aptly, the big bump on the side of the misshapen big toe is the bunion. Doctors have spend decades, even centuries, coming up with ways to treat these bumps and crooked toes. The following is just a sample of the bunion treatments that have been used, are still in use, do work, and may work for your own bunions.

"Shaving" the Toe

This is actually a medical procedure whereby an orthopedic surgeon opens up the flesh over the bunion. Then the surgeon "shaves" the malformed knuckle bones with bone saws and a few other choice surgical tools. The surgeon pulls the malformed toe back into the straightest position possible after "shaving" away enough of the bunion. With the use of medical splints, the toe is straightened and the bunion is now gone.

This is your most invasive treatment, but where very bad bunions are concerned, the procedure is about the only thing that will treat the condition. It is painful, and you may have to go through some physical therapy after the toe has healed. Still, if you could not walk at all because the bunions made it impossible, the amount of pain you would have to sustain just to walk again may be worth it.

Toe Breaking and Splints

If you thought surgery sounded painful, toe breaking is not that much better. This procedure is only for bunions of a mild to moderate nature. The big toes are anesthetized, then the toes are intentionally broken at the base knuckles of the big toes.

Because the body will mend itself and mend the bones, breaking them causes the body to jump into action for the bone-healing process. To make sure your big toes mend straight, the doctor splints your toes for several weeks to months, until x-rays show that the bunions are no longer an issue, and the bones are nice and straight. You will have to wear orthopedic shoes for the rest of your life.


Much in the same way that shattered arm bones are reassembled with metal surgical pins, so too are toes with bunions. This is another extreme surgery for some of the worst bunion cases, but it is effective.

The big toes are broken, pulled into a straight position, then surgically pinned to reset the toes for proper healing. If your bunions were caused by accidentally breaking toe bones, then you would have needed a doctor to break and reset your toe(s) anyway. The pins just hold the bones in place. Additionally, you will have to be off your feet for the duration of the healing process, as it is nearly impossible to walk about with your big toes in the pin cages.

Orthopedic Shoes

Orthopedic shoes can intercede when you begin to develop bunions. Since fashionable (i.e., tight and ill-fitting!) shoes are often the reason you develop bunions, you will no longer be able to wear them. Instead, you have to wear custom orthopedic shoes that will fit your feet perfectly and allow your feet and toes enough room to move. When worn in the early stages of bunion development, you can prevent your bunions from getting much worse.

Orthopedic shoes can also be prescribed after bunion surgeries. Clearly, with all the pain, swelling, and discomfort your bunions and toes are experiencing, you are not going to want to wear any other shoes in your closet. Wearing these shoes as prescribed will have a very positive effect on your toes and feet, and help them heal in the way that your orthopedic surgeon intended.