Posted on: 22 January 2019
If you have a bunion that causes pain that interferes with your ability to walk or stand on your feet for long periods, then surgery might be a treatment that can help. Your podiatrist will probably try other forms of treatment first, but when those treatments don't work, surgically removing the bunion might be the next option. Here's a look at what bunion surgery entails.
Bunion Surgery Is Done in Many Ways
A bunion is a deformity of the bone and tissues of your big toe. As the bump grows on the outside, your big toe points inward and presses against your other toes. The goal of surgery is to remove the bump and straighten your toe. This can be done in a number of ways that involve removing bone or tissues in your toe. Your doctor will determine the right surgical approach based on your individual condition.
The Surgery Might Be Done with a Nerve Block
This type of toe surgery is often done as an outpatient using a nerve block on your foot. Since you don't have general anesthesia, you're able to go home fairly soon after the procedure. The podiatrist might remove the damaged bone and tissue in your toe and add a plate or pins that straighten your toe, and while the procedures sound painful, your toe will be completely numb, so you won't have any discomfort during the operation. While you won't have to spend very long in the recovery room after the surgery, a full recovery at home will take weeks.
Recovery Requires Rest and Foot Protection
Depending on the type of bunion surgery you have, you might wear a cast for a few weeks while you're recovering. Protecting your foot during this time is important because you don't want to stub your toe and cause damage before the area has healed. If you don't need a cast, you might wear a special boot that offers foot protection. You may need crutches or a walker so you can get around without putting too much weight on your foot.
You'll also be encouraged to rest with your foot elevated as much as possible while you heal, but eventually, your podiatrist may send you to physical therapy to exercise your foot to regain strength. Right after the surgery, your toe and foot will be swollen, and you may have discomfort and pain. It may take weeks for the swelling to go away completely, and you may need to wear larger shoes than you usually wear so your foot isn't crowded while it's trying to heal.
After a few months, when your toe has healed, your pain should be greatly diminished so you can walk and stand normally. While this surgery requires a long recovery period and you might be inconvenienced for a few weeks, the result is worth it when you can enjoy your usual activities again without foot pain.Share