Bunion pain can certainly get in the way of daily activities, especially when the situation gets so bad that even putting on shoes or walking becomes difficult! Bunions are indeed progressive, meaning they will only get worse over time, so if you’ve tried everything from night splints and stretches to a switch in footwear and orthotics, yet the pain is still interfering with your life, it’s time you considered bunion surgery.
Saying Good-Bye to the Bump
Bunions form when your big toe joint becomes misaligned, which makes the toe drift inward and the joint to protrude outward. The longer this goes on, the bigger the bony protrusion becomes, and the more pain and problems it causes. There are various surgical procedures that can be performed. Which one is right for you depends upon the severity of your condition, as well as your lifestyle, and other factors. We will help you determine the procedure that best fits your needs. There are three main bunion removal options:
Osteotomy – small cuts are made in the bone to realign the joint. Surrounding tendons and ligaments are adjusted as well so they can hold the toe in proper position.
Exostectomy – you may have heard this referred to as a bunionectomy. In this procedure, the painful bump is completely removed. This is typically combined with osteotomy to ensure the toe stays aligned.
Arthrodesis – this entails removal of the damaged joint and the use of hardware to keep the toe in place.
Before Your Bunion is Banished
To prepare for bunion surgery, you will need to have a clean bill of health. Let us know about the medications you take, and schedule any necessary appointments ahead of time. You should also make arrangements for time off work, as well as enlist someone’s help to take you to and from your procedure, and possibly stay with you at your home. To facilitate recovery, set up a rest station with pillows, books, the phone, TV remote, and other items that would be good to have in arm’s reach. You can also prepare meals and freeze them beforehand to make eating easy.
Recovering from the Bunion Removal
Recovery time depends on the procedure you undergo, and can range anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. You won’t be able to bear weight for quite some time and will likely have a cast or boot to protect your foot. Follow up appointments are necessary to ensure your dressing and sutures are clean and the healing process is going well. Eventually you will be able to bear weight and wear shoes, but please note that you may need to do some new shoe shopping. It’s vital that you avoid narrow and pointy shoes, as well as high heels, as these will put pressure on your big toe joint, and you certainly don’t want that! Make sure you choose shoes with deep, wide toe boxes and low heels to protect against any further problems. This is important since bunion surgery holds no guarantee that the painful bump won’t return. Other preventative measures include keeping up with physical therapy and investing in custom orthotics.
If conservative treatments have not brought you relief and bunion pain continues to stop you from doing the things you enjoy, contact Parker Foot and Ankle in Houston, TX by dialing (281) 497-2850. Dr. Robert Parker has the expertise to perform the bunion surgery you need to get you back to the life you love.