Is Bunion Surgery Right For You?
Here at Family Foot Care & Surgery, we always aim to use conservative treatment options whenever possible. And that’s why we provide many non-surgical methods that (more often than not) are able to successfully address annoying and even painful foot and ankle symptoms, including those brought about by bunions.
But what if you have tried “everything under the sun” and nothing seems to work? What if your bunion just keeps getting worse despite all changes in footwear, night splinting, padding and all?
Well, we are also proud to offer a wide array of foot surgeries right here at our office, as well!
The truth is when it comes to bunions, there are certainly conservative measures you can take that may be able to address the symptoms caused by these common toe deformities. But the only way to truly correct the problem is through bunion surgery.
So you can think of non-invasive bunion remedies as a way to mask the problem, and ideally slow the rate at which it gets worse. This can delay the need for surgery, but the underlying condition is still present and will likely need to be addressed eventually.
And if you have been wondering if bunion surgery is the best choice for you, then you have come to the right place – we are going to take a look at the most common surgical procedures available to correct bunions and what recovery looks like. Though it’s important to keep in mind that the most likely candidates are patients who suffer from intense pain and/or have restricted mobility.
If your bunion is mild and not causing major difficulties, this treatment method is likely not for you. (The only way to find out for sure, though, is by coming to our office for a better evaluation.)
Common Surgeries Used to Correct Bunions
Now, not all bunion surgical procedures are exactly the same. There are several different options Dr. Patel may elect to use, and this will greatly depend on your specific situation. For patients who experience severe pain and restricted mobility, we may recommend bunion surgery procedures like:
- Osteotomy. During this surgery, small cuts are made into bones to help realign the joint into its natural position. Plates, pins, or screws may also be used to fix the cut bone and keep everything in place.
- Bunionectomy. This procedure is rarely used alone – most often, a bunionectomy is performed in conjunction with an osteotomy. This process focuses on removing the bump from the big toe’s MTP joint.
- Resection arthroplasty. This type of surgery is usually recommended for older patients to remove damaged portions of the joint.
- Repair of tendons and ligaments. This process is often used in conjunction with osteotomy when we need to shorten loose tissue and lengthen tight ones to correct an imbalance that can result in the big toe drifting inward.
- Arthrodesis. For patients who also have severe arthritis – a condition that may have even been caused by the bunion – we may recommend arthrodesis to remove arthritic joint surfaces. As with osteotomy, plates, pins, and screws may also be used.
Furthermore, arthrodesis is sometimes used in cases where previous bunion surgery has been unsuccessful. Though, in some other cases, a simple removal of swollen soft tissues around the deformed joint may be all that’s needed.
As already mentioned, we always hope that conservative bunion care will effectively address any symptoms you have, but you can have peace of mind in knowing that Dr. Patel is highly-skilled and experienced in performing bunion surgeries.
What’s even better, the vast majority of these surgeries are performed outpatient right here at our office under ankle block anesthesia, and you will be able to go home only a couple hours after the procedure is complete.
Recovering from Bunion Surgery
There is a common misconception that recovering from bunion surgery is an absolute horror. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, most patients are happy with their bunion surgery results, and are able to return to normal physical activities within a reasonable timeframe.
You can expect to experience some swelling and soreness right after surgery, and you will need to avoid bearing weight for a couple of days while keeping the surgical site protected. Depending on the type of procedure, you may even be able to slip on your favorite pair of shoes within just a few weeks.
(Remember those beautiful sandals you bought years ago and never got to wear because of your bunion? You can now pull them out from the back of your closet!)
Either way, Dr. Patel will be there for you every step of the way, from making sure you understand all the post-op instructions to providing any recovery tools you may need (walking boot, surgical shoe, etc.) to evaluating your recovery progress, and everything else in between.
But you should keep in mind that the end results (and how quickly you get back on your feet) will greatly depend on your discipline and willingness to follow the important recovery steps outlined by your doctor.
Are You Ready to Say Goodbye to That Bunion?
While other treatment plans may relieve pain, bunions can only be removed through surgery. Bunion surgery not only relieves pain, but can correct deformities and remove the bunion allowing your feet to look and feel healthy.
To summarize, bunion surgery is typically recommended when:
- Pain is severe, daily, and impacts the quality of your day-to-day life
- Conservative treatment options have proven unable to make your symptoms manageable
If you or a loved one is suffering from pain caused by a bunion, come see us at Patel Podiatry Family Foot Care & Surgery. We will assess the condition and then create a treatment plan to address the problem for you.
Schedule an appointment with us by calling either of our two area offices.
- Hamden: 203-288-4055
- Milford: 203-876-7736