What Will Happen If Your Bunion Is Left Untreated?

The condition of your feet can have a direct impact on your daily comfort and mobility. Your feet need to be able to support the weight of your body, so proper foot anatomy is crucial. Some people develop an anatomical disorder that causes the big toe to shift inward and point toward the second toe. This condition is known as a bunion.

Bunions start off small, but they can grow quickly if left untreated. Most people require surgery to correct a bunion. If you are putting off bunion surgery, you could be setting yourself up to develop some additional foot problems in the future.


One of the conditions that can be caused by an untreated bunion is bursitis. The joints in your body, including the joint of the big toe, and cushioned by a bursa sac. When a bunion is not treated, the joint of your big toe becomes misaligned. This puts pressure on the bursa sac and causes it to fill with liquid- a condition known as bursitis.

The result is a big toe that is inflamed and painful as well as muscles and tendons that are not properly cushioned.


Another condition you might have to contend with if you don't invest in bunion surgery is hammertoe. A hammertoe occurs when the middle part of your toe begins to bend upward. This bend is often caused by the pressure that a bunion can place on the joint of the big toe.

Over time, the hammertoe will become rigid and immobile. You will need surgical intervention to correct both the hammertoe and the bunion causing it.


It's not just your toes that can be negatively affect by a bunion. The ball of your foot can also be susceptible to damage when a bunion is left untreated. A condition known as metatarsalgia.

As your bunion grows in size, it will place more pressure on the ball of your foot. This pressure causes the tissue surrounding the metatarsal bones in your foot to become inflamed.

Since the ball of your foot supports the weight of your body, you will feel pain in this area when tissue inflammation is present. Metatarsalgia pain can be localized to the area beneath a single toe, or it can radiate across your whole foot. The pain can also be accompanied by tingling or numbness in the foot.

Bunion surgery can help you prevent additional complications from compromising the health and anatomical structure of your feet.