Bunion Surgery ABCs

It’s a big step—deciding whether or not to have surgery to correct a foot problem. There may come a point when you are ready to take that step, though, just to get rid of the pain and inability to function that has been bothering you for too long. When you need bunion surgery to correct your big toe joint, come to the caring doctors at Far West Podiatric Medical Group. From initial consultation to final recovery, we work to make each step as easy as ABC for you.

Do You Need Surgery?

A bunion is a big toe joint that has moved out of proper alignment. Does it need to be corrected surgically? That depends on the answers to these questions:

  • Does it hurt? If not, you can try shoe modification to keep it from getting worse.
  • Is it swollen and inflamed? Simple icing and medications may help relieve both so you can function.
  • Does it keep you from your normal activities? If you can’t bend the toe, your balance may be thrown off. If it is drifting so far that it pushes over or under the next toe, you may want to correct the bunion to avoid other painful issues. Bunions are progressive in most cases, and can affect other parts of your foot, making future surgery more complicated.

The bottom line is, the time for surgery is when you find that your foot pain is intruding on the things you want to do, even though you have tried conservative measures.

What Does Bunion Surgery Involve?

The type of procedure depends on how severe the bunion has become. Milder ones can be corrected at the joint between the toe and foot, while more serious ones may need more complex correction.  Most involve some amount of repositioning the bone and holding it in place with a fixation device, such as screws or plates. The procedure may also involve repairing tendons and joint capsules—networks of ligaments that hold the bones of the joint together—to rebalance the joint.  We also use state of the art techniques to relieve painful arthritic joints.  The latest techniques employ absorbable pins when possible; gone are the days of protruding pins.  Additionally, weeks on crutches or in a cast are no longer necessary in most cases.

The surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis and you can go home the same day. However, your recovery will likely take several weeks. The bones themselves may heal before then, but returning to full activity without discomfort will take longer, and you will need to work on regaining proper motion in the foot. Most patients are pleasantly surprised at the low level of discomfort after surgery.  We will advise you every step of the way on how to get back to your normal activities.

ABCs of Recovery

A – Aftercare. There will be dressings to care for, and we will give you complete instructions. It is important to follow the instructions exactly to hold the toe in proper position while healing.   Dressings must be kept clean and dry, as well. We will prescribe appropriate medications as needed.  Elevation, rest and ice therapy are very effective in reducing swelling and discomfort.

B – Bearing weight. We will let you know when it is safe to start putting weight on your foot again, as this varies from case to case. Range of motion exercises will also be an important part of your recovery, because you want to regain full strength and movement in your toe joints.

C – Complications. During recovery, we will see you regularly to be sure you are on track.  We are available to take your calls to answer any questions or concerns.

Our Foot Doctors in California Want to Help

Yes, having bunion surgery is a big step. Fortunately, you don’t have to take that step alone. Our expert podiatrists are highly trained surgeons who can guide you from beginning to end to make sure it is as pleasant an experience with as good an outcome as possible. Most people obtain relief from pain and improvement in toe alignment that allows them to function normally again.

Give Far West Podiatric Medical Group in Hawthorne, CA a call at (310) 675-0900 to discuss whether you need surgical correction for your bunion. Our goal is to relieve your symptoms and increase your quality of life, so contact us by phone or online today.

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