Living with bunions may be causing unnecessary pain and stress in your life. Daily tasks like wearing shoes and walking can be so much more challenging than they should be. But when is it time to take drastic action like getting bunion surgery? Let’s get into the details of when you should take that step.
What Is Bunion Surgery?
A bunion is an enlargement of the bone or tissue where your big toe or little toe meets your foot, called the metatarsophalangeal joint. Bunions can be extremely painful, as they can cause your toe to turn inwards; reduce mobility in the toe; and cause pain, swelling, and discoloration. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or external factors like ill-fitting shoes or specific feet shapes can increase your risk of bunions.
Bunion Surgery, also known as a bunionectomy, is a surgical procedure done to reduce pain and relieve symptoms caused by bunions. Doctors may ask for an X-ray to visualize the severity of joint damage before deciding whether you need surgery. The surgery will require an incision on the top or side of the metatarsophalangeal joint. Then doctors will remove and/or realign parts of the bone and tissue. It takes less than an hour, and doctors will put patients under general anesthesia.
When Is It Time to Get Bunion Surgery?
- Other Treatments Are Not Working
There are several recommended types of non-surgical bunion treatment. For some, the simple act of changing your footwear can manage bunion pain. Tight, high- heeled, or pointed shoes can intensify negative symptoms, so a good break from improper footwear often helps painful bunions. Other options include:
- Using special pads to cushion the aggravated area.
- Occasionally using ice or heating pads to reduce pain and swelling.
- Taking medication like over-the-counter painkillers or prescription pills.
If none of those have worked so far, you may want to consider surgery.
- You’ve Been Experiencing Symptoms for Over a Year
Any amount of time with bunions is not ideal, and no one should have to live with the pain they cause. But it is essential to give yourself time to heal through other bunion treatments before a more drastic option like surgery. Some non-surgical treatments may take months to make a difference. Unfortunately, bunions will not get better with time alone, though. They can cause complications like bursitis, hammertoe, and metatarsalgia. If you’ve gone over a year with bunions and nothing else relieves your pain or swelling, it may be the right time to ask your doctor about surgery.
- Your Bunion Is Preventing You from Living Your Life
If painful bunions affect your daily life, reducing your mobility and causing additional stress, bunion surgery could improve your quality of life. In that case, surgery can help you get back to enjoying everyday activities. Surgery may also be a good option for athletes, or people who engage in work or hobbies that require more mobility than average day-to-day tasks. If bunions get in the way of doing what you love, or even your career, that might be a sign that you’re ready for surgery.
Lastly, some people are troubled by the appearance of their bunions. That’s okay, too. Everyone deserves to be happy with their body, whether they have bunions or not.
Diablo Foot and Ankle
Do you find yourself agreeing with all three signs? If you’ve decided to take the next step in your recovery and ask about bunion surgery, Diablo Foot & Ankle can help. Our specialists provide quality, caring treatment for bunions and other foot and ankle health issues. Call us today at (925) 464-1982 to learn more and set up an appointment in Oakland, Walnut Creek, or Antioch.
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.