Do Bunions Require Surgery?
In milder cases, non-surgical remedies can be helpful. Conservative treatments include wearing wider shoes, shoe/boot modifications, anti-inflammatory medications, anti-inflammatory cream, and even bracing or taping. All these are used to help reduce symptoms and make the bunion more manageable.
What are the Surgical Treatment Options for Bunions?
In severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the bunion and correct the alignment of the great toe. A number of surgical treatments are available for the removal of a bunion. Typically, bunion removal surgeries will involve a bunionectomy which is shaving of the bump. The surgery also involves balancing the soft tissues around the great toe. In most cases osteotomies, or bone cuts, are needed in addition to simply removing the bump. These bone cuts decrease the risk of recurrence of the bunion and correct the mechanics of the foot. There are many different types of osteotomies and our orthopaedic surgeons choose the best osteotomy for each patient depending on their x-rays.
What is the Recovery Following Bunion Surgery?
Surgical intervention is typically done as outpatient surgery (meaning no overnight hospital stay). A nerve block is often used to minimize pain after surgery in addition to oral medications. The foot is wrapped and the patient is placed in a hard sole (postoperative) shoe. Depending on the surgery performed, a period of 4-6 weeks of non-weight bearing is possible. Some patients can weight bear almost immediately, but this is determined on an individual basis by the orthopedic surgeon. It is absolutely essential that patients follow the protocol for post-operative recovery as set forth by our team as it is a crucial part of the healing process. To prevent bunions from recurring, patients will need to find comfortable shoes that provide adequate room and movement of the toes.