The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

4 Products To Help You Avoid Bunion Surgery

Posted by on Friday, January 30th, 2015


Bunion surgery can be a major pain, but then so is dealing with bunions—those maddening bony bumps that make wearing shoes or going for a walk agony. Undergoing bunion surgery is difficult for many, due to the 6-8 weeks one must set aside for recovery, and the hefty costs if surgery isn’t covered (which it isn’t by some insurance providers).

If you come to us with bunion pain, difficulty finding shoes that fit around your deformity, or hammer toes, we will do our best to make a case to your insurance provider that correction is, in fact, a “medical necessity”. However, if you can’t take time off work for surgery, or coverage isn’t an option, here are four affordable and less-invasive options to provide you relief and help you avoid surgery.

bunion correction
Can bunions be corrected without surgery? Image Source:

Bunion Pads

Bunion pads are made from felt, moleskin, or gel, and are placed over the bunion to prevent irritation. The PediFix Visco-Gel Bunion Guard has helped more than 76 Amazon shoppers find relief from mild to moderate bunion pain. One customer called it a “little pain saver” that is better than moleskin, bandages, cotton, foam, and other products on the market. While you’ll need a roomy shoe to accommodate the extra padding, the bunion guard is relatively durable, not too expensive, and helps prevent the shoe from rubbing uncomfortably against the bunion.

Bunion Splints

A nighttime bunion splint is a long-term option that can help prevent big toe deviation. It’s not a substitute for surgery, but by physically pushing the bunion back into place as you sleep it may slow or prevent your bunion from worsening. Buyers say the Bunion Aid Hinged Splint for Bunions “eases discomfort,” “makes the pain disappear,” and “relieves pressure”. One common complaint is that the splint can get a bit sweaty at night and is difficult to clean.

Toe Spacers

A gel or silicone spacer pad placed between the big toe and the second toe can stop the two toes from chafing against one another and encourages the big toe to stand a little straighter. This product mainly works for early stage bunion development—before the bunion deviation sets. People who bought the PediFix Gel Spreader say the product was recommended by physiotherapists and doctors. One customer said the product is the only way walking is possible and “saved [her] from surgery”. If you prefer, you can also try toe spacer socks!

Arch Supports For Bunions

Arch supports have long been touted for the treatment of bunions, since many sufferers have flat feet and unstable arches. Interestingly enough, a recent review of research revealed that custom orthotics reduce bunion pain after six months of use, but do not make much difference in cases of persistent pain that lasted past 12 months. Here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in Manhattan and White Plains, we have computerized orthotic scanning equipment to create customized insoles for your shoes.

Should You Call A NYC Podiatrist?

The decision to schedule bunion surgery is a personal one. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for bunions. Either you live with it and buy products that help you manage the condition or you do what you can to physically correct the root problem. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert has performed thousands of bunion surgeries and is skilled in the latest minimally-invasive techniques for correction, which will have you in a walking boot or small surgical shoe quickly. Please contact our NYC podiatrists to discuss your options if bunions have been slowing you down or causing you pain.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.