When Is Bunion Surgery Necessary?

Bunions are caused by bone deformities at the base or on the side of the big toe. These enlarged joints cause the toe to move out of place, causing pressure and angling it uncomfortably toward the rest of the toes. There are non-surgical methods of providing relief for bunions, but they only help to alleviate pain and inflammation in a short term way and do not stop their growth. These treatments often involve protective padding and functional orthotic devices. However, should these measures prove inadequate as the condition progresses, surgery will likely become necessary?

Bunion Surgery is typically a fairly simple procedure taking only around an hour. The actions taken during surgery will depend on the severity of the condition. An orthopedic surgeon can remove a piece of the bone, re-positioning what is left to fit properly into the joint. The bone then held in place with screws or wire. Tendons and ligaments must be re-positioned to accommodate the new bone structure and are held in place with stitches that will either dissolve on their own over time or require a second visit for removal.

During the first three to five days after the surgery, patients should avoid putting weight on the affected foot. Keeping ice on it and keeping the foot elevated to reduce pain and swelling will speed recovery as well. For the first few weeks after surgery, crutches or a cane are often necessary to prevent pressure to the area while it heals. As a general rule, the less weight is applied to the foot; the quicker the healing process will be.

With adequate time to heal, most patients experience alleviation of pain and pressure in the feet after surgery. Surgical pins and plates may slightly decrease the patient’s range of motion in the affected area, but this should not prevent a return to a normal ambulatory state. Most patients find that this simple surgery and brief recovery period are well worth the hassle. Those suffering from bunions should speak with a specialist about their options. Foot & Ankle Specialists of NJ employs experienced orthopedic surgeons in addition to podiatrists. Speaking with a specializing doctor is the first step toward deciding whether Bunion Surgery will be necessary to reduce a patient’s pain and discomfort. You can also follow them on Twitter for more updates.

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