Surgery for Bunion Removal
Bunion surgery is an option many people choose when their efforts at reducing foot pain have not provided the relief they need. Also known by the medical term “bunionectomy,” surgery for bunion removal is usually a quick, out-patient procedure, but bunion surgery recovery takes several weeks or even longer.
For this reason, bunions surgery is normally seen as a last resort option, but one unfortunately many people find necessary. On a positive note, the typical out-patient bunionectomy performed today can be described as minimum incision surgery. This involves making an incision in the top or on the side of the big toe joint so that soft tissue and extra bone can be removed or realigned or “remodeled.” Thus, the normal alignment of the joint is restored and the position of the big toe is corrected. Often the bunion surgery also includes rebalancing tendons and ligaments.
While no surgeon can guarantee that you will be completely free of pain after surgery, most people who undergo bunion surgery are pleased with the results. This is so even with the extended time required for recovery.
As previously stated, the procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis, and typically lasts between one and two hours. However, if the deformity of the big toe joint is severe , bunion surgery becomes more complicated and may involve the insertion of pins, screws, or plates into the joint. Generally, a regional anesthesia is used for the foot and/or lower leg area. However, depending on the extent of the surgery and other physical issues you may have, other types of anesthesia, such as a spinal block, may be used.
While no one looks forward to foot surgery of any kind, living with bunion pain that does not go away is an option that few people can accept. Surgery for bunion removal is a common option when other types of treatment do not provide adequate relief from pain. A high quality bunion splint such as the one from Bunion Aid reviewed here, which currently has 37 “5-star” reviews, is probably your best bet for non-invasive bunion treatment, and many podiatrists recommend such a splint before making a final decision about surgery.
Severe foot pain that is not lessened by the use of padding or splints and does not respond to anti-inflammatory drugs is the most obvious reason for bunion surgery. Other conditions may also lead you to chose this option such as hammertoes, a significant deformity of the big toe whereby it drifts toward the small toes, extreme stiffness in the joint of the big toe that hinders walking, and,chronic inflammation of the big toe that requires ongoing medication or injections.
There are actually around 100 types of bunion surgery. The particular surgery your doctor decides you need will depend mainly upon the extent of your deformity and whether or not there is arthritis in the big toe joint. Another important factor the doctor will consider is the space between your first and second metatarsals. (The metatarsals are the five long bones in the middle area of each foot.)
Although there are no guarantees that after a bunionectomy your pain will be completely gone, studies show that around 85% of the people who choose this surgery are satisfied with the results. But please understand that having surgery for bunion removal does not mean that you should feel free to go back to shoes that do not give your toes enough room. Surgery is not going to magically give you a foot that will be happy in poorly designed or pointy shoes. This is the time to make a commitment to only wear shoes that protect your feet and enhance your health.
For additional information, read this article from the Yale School of Medicine.
If you have decided to have foot surgery for bunion removal, be sure to have a frank discussion with your doctor about your bunion surgery recovery.