What is a bunion?
A bunion is a bone prominence which develops on the big toe joint.
Most of the time, bunions are painful due to external shoe pressure, but
arthritic changes in the joint can make them painful as well. Bunions
are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the
foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot
types make a person prone to developing a bunion.
As a result, bunions frequently have an area of irritation over the big
toe joint that turns red. They are more common as we age, but are not
uncommon in teenagers and young adults.
What can be done about a
Many treatments can be done to relieve the temporary discomfort of a
bunion. Unfortunately, this is a structural problem which will not
correct itself with pads, braces or arch supports. For some, changing
the type of shoe worn and other conservative measures can alleviate
pain. If these approaches do not work, surgery may be necessary to
correct the affected foot bone’s misalignment and reposition the bone.
Surgery is not necessary unless it affects your daily life.
How is a bunion corrected?
Surgery for your bunion will address the painful bump, the abnormal
position of your great toe, and the alignment of the bunion bone. In
selecting the proper procedure or combination of procedures for your
foot, our physicians will perform a thorough evaluation of your foot
including x-rays. They will take into consideration the severity of your
deformity, your age, your activity level, and other factors. The length
of your recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or
procedures performed. The surgery is performed as an out-patient at
either a hospital or at an Out-patient Surgical Facility.
new in Bunion Surgery?
The new Repositional Bunion technique corrects bunions while maintaining
normal anatomy in the foot. Traditional bunion surgery requires cutting
of the bunion bone and relocating the bone to a new position with the
assistance of screws or pins. The repositional technique realigns the
bone and places it in its new position without the need for a bone cut
or screw placement. The Repositional technique generally offers patients
a less painful recovery. Candidates for the repositional procedure
generally relate of less swelling and less pain. The Repositional
technique may be performed with traditional techniques in some patients.
What is the recovery time for
While recovery times vary according to the patient’s individual
circumstances and the specific procedure(s) performed. Corrective bunion
surgery commonly allows for a modified walking style from the 1st
post-operative day until the patient returns to regular shoes.
For the first four to six weeks patients are commonly limited to a
walking boot or a surgical shoe. At approximately six weeks patients are
able to begin wearing regular shoes. When initially returning to regular
shoes, patients are encouraged to use shoes with more support such as an
athletic shoe. Patients may need to wear wider shoes which will allow
for expansion due to normal swelling during the first few weeks when
returning to shoes. The wearing of tight dress style shoes should not be
anticipated for at least three months after surgery and may take up to
six to twelve months to be comfortable for extended periods.
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