At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, we treat patients from across many communities in the greater Austin area, like Rollingwood, TX. We recently noticed that the City of Rollingwood has an ordinance in place (City Ordinance Sec. 8.06.006) that prohibits cutting oak trees from February 15 to June 15 “for purposes other than protecting the public.” In a roundabout way, that got us thinking about how we handle bunions for our patients.
Similar to Rollingwood’s “no cutting” policy, it is our goal to use conservative treatment for juvenile bunions instead of surgical procedures. (Actually, we will always attempt to use nonsurgical treatment when possible—regardless of the patient or issue being addressed.)
Invasive (surgical) medical procedures certainly do have their place and usefulness in the field of podiatry, but it is especially important to try and avoid them for child patients. A reason for this is that the foot will continue to develop, grow, and strengthen, and we do not want to interrupt any of those processes. Fortunately, there are several nonsurgical options that can relieve bunion symptoms for children.
Some of top options for conservative treatment for juvenile bunions include:
- Footwear choices. Making sure that your child has shoes that have wide, deep toe boxes will prevent the bunion from becoming irritated and causing pain for your son or daughter.
- Shoe inserts. In addition to roomy, comfortable shoes, padded inserts or custom orthotic devices can provide greater pain relief. These options can help to redistribute forces across the foot and prevent excess pressure on the affected joint. Besides providing relief from symptoms, custom orthotics may also help to prevent the condition from worsening.
- Icing. After extended periods of time spent on his or her feet, your child will benefit from having ice applied to the area. We can provide specific directions for this procedure.
- Medication. Naproxen, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are pain medications that can help, but be sure to consult with our doctors for specific recommendations.
- Splinting or padding and taping. Using these options will help to keep the foot in a more natural, normal position, thereby reducing stress on the bunion.
Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists is dedicated to continually raising the bar when it comes to patient expectations for podiatric services, especially those we perform for children. Treating juvenile bunions conservatively is often quite effective, so contact us by calling (512) 328-8900 or using our online form to request an appointment today.