19 Oct 2016

Bunion Surgery - What You Should Know

Bunion surgery used to be painful and not guaranteed to solve the problem. That’s not the case anymore! Read on to find out more about bunion surgery in 2016.


What are bunions?

A bunion is a bony lump that forms where your big toe joins to your foot. It sticks out on the side and is very uncomfortable. The skin is often red and inflamed, and they can make it difficult to walk.


What causes bunions?

Popular belief is that wearing ill-fitting shoes was the cause. Although it is a significant aggravating factor there is good evidence that bunions are mainly caused by genetic factors.

Generally, bunions form when the bone inside your foot tends to splay out at an angle, and the top of this bone then sticks out instead of sitting snugly where it should be Your big toe is constantly pushed inward towards your other toes. This causes stress on your big toe joint, and over time, the joint can become inflamed, with swelling occurring as a result and a bony overgrowth folled by degenerative arthritis.


How do you fix bunions?

If the bunion is not too severe, you can alleviate the discomfort  by changing your footwear and wearing orthotics. Especially if you catch them early enough, simply relieving the sideways pressure on your big toe may be enough to reduce the swelling before any bony structures form.

In many cases, however, you may have been putting up with it for too long, which means you will require surgery to solve the problem.


Is bunion surgery painful?

Not anymore! These are actually a number of different surgical procedures that may be appropriate to fix your bunions, and the techniques involved have improved a lot over the years.

In the past, bunion surgery had a reputation for being very painful, with a drawn-out and painful recovery period as well. In 2016, bunion surgery can be performed as day surgery, with only some cases requiring an overnight stay. Recovery time can vary depending on how bad the bunions were or which type of bunionectomy was required, but with improved surgical procedures, you will have less pain and better result with less likelihood of reoccurrence.


Does bunion surgery even work?

You may have friends or family members who underwent a bunionectomy in the past, only to hear them complain that it didn’t help, or that the problem reoccurred shortly afterwards.

If that’s the case, you can relax! The days of poor and uncertain outcomes from bunion surgery are behind us. As we’ve already mentioned, there are several different ways to fix bunions these days, and the particular procedure involved can be matched to your particular bunion problem. Most people who have the surgery report reduced pain and swelling, along with their big toe going back in line with the others.


How can I avoid bunions?

While inherited factors can’t be prevented, the easiest way to reduce the risk of bunions is to wear properly fitted shoes. There is no consensus on whether it’s particular kinds of shoes that cause the problem, but most experts agree you should avoid shoes that are too narrow for you that push your big toe inward.

It’s also good practice to not wear shoes every hour of the day. In general, a nice pair of comfortable slippers to wear around the house is good for your feet, relieving the pressure caused by footwear (it’s interesting to note that bunions don’t occur in cultures that don’t wear shoes!)


I’ve got bunions – what should I do?

By far the best thing you can do is contact us.

As a podiatric surgeon, or if you like to look at it this way, a podiatrist who also performs surgery, we offer solutions that are both surgical and non-surgical. We are highly trained and experienced in how to help you when bunions are causing you grief.  We can assess the severity of the problem and help you decide on the best course of action, and unlike someone who only does surgery, we will be with you all the way through surgery and recovery.

Also remember – surgery may not always be necessary, so don’t be scared! We will always work with you to find the best solution for your bunion problem.

So, if you are looking for a Podiatrist in Prospect, Walkerville, Medindie, or North Adelaide because you are suffering from bunions, ingrown toenail, neuroma, hammertoe, or other conditions that can affect your feet, make sure you call Prospect Podiatry on 8344 5690.

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