Bunion Removal Surgery
Bunions are a common foot ailment, and many of our patients need bunion removal surgery in order to restore comfort and movement to their foot. If you would like more information about this procedure and how it is performed, or to schedule an appointment to visit our office, contact us today. Bunion surgery is a procedure to remove a bunion from your foot. A bunion is a throbbing, painful, bump that forms at the base of your big toe that is made up of bone and soft tissue. A bunion commonly occurs when you shift and bear your weight unevenly and is often the result of poorly fitting shoes. Women are often at an increased risk of developing bunions due to wearing high heel shoes. Bunion surgery can correct the painful defect. Depending on the extent and nature of your bunion, your surgeon may perform one or more of the following during your surgery: • Shave the hump that formed at the base of the toe • Change the size of the bones, tendons or ligaments surrounding the toe joint to allow proper weight distribution • Extract the damaged parts, and insert screws, pins, or plates to hold the bones and joints together Is bunion surgery right for me? There are nonsurgical solutions for bunions. One of them is wearing good fitting shoes with a wide toe base. Your doctor may recommend medication to relieve the inflammation and pain you experience. If any of the following symptoms persist, however, it may be time to talk about bunion removal surgery: • Your big toe is stiff to the point where it is painful to bend and straighten • Medication and rest don’t alleviate the painful swelling • Your big toe is changing shape and direction, and regular footwear is not comfortable • Your foot pain is so severe that you limit daily activities such as walking How do I prepare for bunion surgery? Your doctor might take x-rays and perform tests to determine the right surgical procedure. You will likely be asked to discontinue any blood thinning medications a day or two before the procedure. You may also be required to fast prior to the procedure. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to drive you to your procedure and home, as you may still feel the effects of the medications you will be given. Stock your pantry and prepare a few meals in advance so that you can take it easy right after your surgery. Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions that are tailored to your bunion removal surgery and your overall health to be sure that you can properly prepare. What is the procedure like? The actual surgery is relatively straightforward and is normally an outpatient procedure. Plan to arrive one to two hours before your surgery time. You will be given some form of anesthesia. The most common is an ankle block numbing anesthesia. With this type, you remain awake during the procedure. Once your foot is numb, the surgeon will remove the bunion and perform any other repairs to your foot that are needed. If the surgeon or anesthesiologist deems it necessary, you may be given general or spinal anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will remain with you during the entire procedure to monitor your comfort and safety. After surgery, which takes about an hour, you will be monitored in recovery for another one to two hours before you are released to go home. What does recovery entail? Full recovery from bunion removal surgery can take up to six months, but unless your job requires you to stand or walk for long periods of time, you should be able to return to work after about two weeks. You will probably have inflammation and will want to ice and rest your foot often during the first few weeks. You might have a cast or surgical boot to wear for about the first two weeks after surgery. After that, you may be given a brace to support your foot as it heals. Follow your doctor’s specific instructions for physical therapy exercises, and avoid wearing constricting or high-heeled shoes for several months after surgery. For more information about bunion removal surgery, contact our office today. We can schedule a full consultation so that you can work together with your doctor on a proper diagnosis and an evaluation and treatment plan. It is important that your treatment plan is tailored specifically to your foot issue and medical history, so that you can be sure it is the best option for you.