How To Decide If You Need Bunion Surgery

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For even the strongest of us, bunions can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes, surgery is the best option to remove the pain source and help you recover. If you are unsure whether you should be getting bunion surgery, here is some advice to help you decide.

Bunions, also known as Hallux Valgus, is a foot condition where a bony bump forms at the base of your big toe and protrudes outwards. Bunions occur when the big toe bends and pushes on the other bones, causing some bones to move outwards. Depending on the severity, some people can go through their entire life without any bunion pain, while some can experience pain so intense that they struggle to move.

When looking to treat your bunions, visiting your NYC podiatrist is a great first step. They can examine your condition and develop conservative treatment options such as:

  • Custom orthotics and shoe inserts
  • Physiotherapy
  • Medication such as anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)

If none of the treatment options above successfully alleviates your pain, it may be time to consider bunion surgery.

Need Help With Your Bunions? Our NYC Podiatrists Can Create Customized Treatment Plans For You

At To Healthy Feet Podiatry, a foot clinic located in downtown and midtown NYC, our foot doctors can provide an accurate diagnosis, and customized treatment plans to meet your foot and ankle needs. If your bunions are causing you pain, contact us, and we will provide customized, successful treatment plans to get you back to your healthy life.


Why Might I Need Bunion Surgery?

Before considering bunion surgery, we recommend attempting non-surgical options first. While bunion surgery is highly effective, it is an invasive procedure that comes with certain risks and can cause more pain when compared to more natural treatment options. If none of the more natural treatment options are successful, and the discomfort caused by your bunion is insurmountable, then bunion surgery is likely to be recommended. Consult one of our NYC Podiatrists to see if bunion surgery is right for you.


What Risks are Associated With Bunion Surgery?

As with any other surgical procedure, there are downsides and risks involved, and complications may occur. Before committing to bunion surgery, consider the following downsides:

  • The bunion may come back in the future
  • The surgery is not 100% effective
  • It can cause limitations on what footwear you can wear afterwards
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection

Depending on other specific medical conditions, there may be more associated risks. Contact us to discuss any other associated medical risks for your particular situation.


How Should I Prepare For My Surgery?

Once you have consulted with one of NYC podiatrists, and surgery has been decided upon, you should make sure that you are prepared for the procedure. For most people, a general anesthetic is not required for any of the three surgical options, and only a local anesthetic around the foot will be used. However, if your particular case does require a general anesthetic, you will be required to fast for at least 8 hours before your surgery. Any other pre-surgery preparations will be discussed with your doctor during your initial consultation.

What Happens During the Bunion Surgery?

Generally, your bunion surgery will follow this four-step process

  1.  A local anesthetic will be administered to freeze the entire foot below the ankle, allowing the surgeon to act without causing substantial pain.
  2. The surgeon will conduct the surgical process that has been decided for your specific needs. Depending on the procedure, the total time of the surgery will likely take less than one hour.
  3. Upon completion of the surgery, your foot will be bandaged, and you will be taken to the recovery room where we will monitor you to ensure that you recover appropriately. while the local anesthetic wears off.
  4. After a couple of hours in recovery, you will be allowed to return home on the condition that you continue to monitor the healing process of your foot.

Every surgery will be different depending on the individual and their specific needs, and it's important to note that the process and time-frame will be different for everybody.


What Is the Recovery Period Like?

One of the most crucial aspects of ensuring your surgery's success is how you care for the wound during the recovery period. Depending on the extent of your operation, you may need to bandage your foot or keep it in a brace for up to 8 weeks post-surgery. During this period, here are some tips to help the wound heal:

  • Ice and elevate your foot on one or two pillows to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Limit walking, exercising, and other movements that could adversely impact the bandages and stitching.
  • Cover your dressing in a plastic bag and hold it with tape to keep it clean and dry while in the shower.
  • Take a pain reliever as prescribed by your doctor to limit the soreness. Make sure your preferred pain medication is safe to take; certain medications may increase the chance of bleeding.

Our NYC Foot Doctors Are Using Telemedicine to Help You During COVID-19

To find out more about our telehealth services and how our NYC Podiatrists can help you manage any bunion pain you may have during these difficult times, contact us at 917-398-3668 or book a consultation online.

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