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Bunion

Suffering from a painful and uncomfortable bunion? We’ll put you on the path to pain-free mobility

At To Healthy Feet Podiatry, our team of NYC foot doctors know that living with bunions can be life-changing, difficult, and above all else, painful. During a comprehensive one-on-one consultation, we’ll identify the exact root of your problem by analyzing the way you walk and stand. We’ll also look at what type of shoes you wear on a daily basis, and pinpoint the exact area you’re experiencing pain so we can address it immediately. By utilizing X-rays and cutting-edge technology and procedures, we provide a targeted treatment that will put you back on the path to pain-free mobility.

 


What is a bunion?

A bunion is a painful, bony deformity that protrudes from the inside of a patient’s foot at the joint of their big toe. Bunions develop slowly and occur when the bone structure of the big toe has been altered, leading to the characteristically painful red bump. The alteration of the big toe bone structure happens when the bones that make up its middle joint (the metatarsophalangeal or MTP) become misaligned. A severe bunion may force the big toe to be pointed directly at the other toes of the foot and can be exacerbated by tight-fitting footwear.


How do I know if I have a bunion?

Aside from the distinct physical characteristics described above, symptoms of a bunion include inflammation and pain or discomfort while walking with certain shoes (high heels or tight-fitting ones chief among them). The distinctive red bump may become swollen and ache when aggravated due to certain types of footwear as well. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms call us today to set up your comprehensive one-on-one consultation.

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What are the treatment options for a bunion?

Bunions are a progressive condition, which means they get worse as time goes on. While there is no conservative treatment that can put the bone back where it belongs, there are things that can be done to slow the progression or alleviate pain. However, once the discomfort or pain begins to disrupt your ability to go about your daily life, surgery may be required to put the bone back in place and correct the problem.


Non-Invasive Bunion Treatment Options

  • Shield the bunion with a protective gel pad or moleskin, which we can help you obtain
  • Utilize shoe inserts to help properly align your foot. These inserts can be prescribed via our clinic, or more generic ones can be bought over-the-counter
  • After consultation with our clinic, we can provide a splint that keeps your big toe straight while sleeping at night
  • Ultrasound, ice packs, warm compress, and massage may alleviate pain or discomfort
  • Anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can help reduce swelling
  • Wear footwear that provides ample space within the toe area of the shoe

While some people may find the above conservative treatment options to be successful in providing relief from pain or discomfort, others may not. For these individuals, it may be time to consider bunion surgery.


Types of Bunion Surgery at Our NYC Foot Care Office

There are three main types of bunion surgery. For most people, a general anesthetic is not required for the following surgeries. Instead, they will be administered a local anesthetic which freezes the area below their entire ankle.

  • Osteotomy: This surgery requires our NYC foot surgeon to make an incision in the joint of your big toe and realign it to its proper position
  • Exostectomy: Our foot surgeon removes the bunion from the joint but does not perform any realignment of the big toe
  • Arthrodesis: Our downtown or midtown foot surgeon implants screws or metal plates in place of the damaged joint to rectify the deformity

Once your surgery is complete (which usually takes less than an hour) your foot is bandaged and you’re taken to the recovery room. From there we monitor your heart rate and blood pressure to ensure you’re recovering properly as the anesthetic wears off. In most cases, patients are able to return home after being in recovery for a couple of hours.

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How long does it take to recover from bunion surgery?

The amount of time it takes to recover from bunion surgery can differ from patient to patient, but generally, it takes around six to eight weeks to recover from the surgery itself and about four to six months to make a full recovery from bunion removal surgery (exostectomy).

Immediately following the surgery at our NYC foot care office, you’ll be placed in a protective boot or cast which you’ll wear for about two weeks. During this time it’s important to keep your stitches from getting wet, so we recommend wrapping the boot or cast tightly in a plastic bag when showering.

Once the boot or cast is removed, a brace will take its place to provide support and help you heal. At the beginning of this stage, you won’t be able to put weight on the affected foot, so crutches will be necessary to get around. As time goes on you’ll be able to gradually put more weight on the foot, allowing you to use a walker or single crutch for additional support.

Throughout the healing process it’s imperative you stay off your feet as much as possible. Icing your foot and toe will help reduce inflammation and help the healing process along.

For several months after the bunion removal surgery, you should anticipate that your foot will be swollen. Therefore it’s important for you to have shoes that provide ample space within the toe area so you can minimize discomfort and pain.

Once you’re back on your feet, you may be sent to a physical therapist who will help you strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your lower leg and foot.

Most people who elect to undergo surgery at our NYC foot care office for their bunion pain or discomfort are able to experience almost total relief from this foot surgery and tolerate the surgical and recovery aspects of the procedure quite well.


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At To Healthy Feet Podiatry, we feel that nobody should be suffering in pain because of bunions. If you are suffering from bunions or any other foot or ankle condition, don't hesitate to give us a call.  Serving the Downtown and Midtown Manhattan areas of NYC, our foot doctors are ready to help. Call us at 917-398-3668, or book an appointment online, or fill out our contact form below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: Bunion surgery is generally done in an hour or less! You will be able to go home the same day to recover in the comfort of your home. 

Answer: Surgeries are performed in an out-patient, non-hospital surgery center.

Answer: Bunions can come from many different factors. Bunions often run in families and can be caused by loose ligaments which allows your bone to float out of place over time. Additionally, shoe gear plays a role in the development of bunions as tight, pointy shoes and high heels put an unnatural biomechanical strain on the foot. Long term use of this type of footwear causes the foot to adapt and the results can be a variety of dysfunction but most notably a bunion.

Answer: Unfortunately, a laser that would be strong enough to burn through bone would also damage all the soft tissue structures that support your foot. This means that in order to reach the bone, an incision will have to be made and careful preservation of all the soft tissue structures will be undertaken during surgery. Once the bone is visible, the deformity will be corrected and held in place, usually with screws or plates.

Answer: Most people think that bunions are a growth of bone. While a very small amount of bone can grow, bunions are when the bone called the metatarsal falls out of alignment. Instead of being straight, it drifts out and causes a prominent bump on the side of your foot by your big toe.

YOU DON'T NEED TO LIVE WITH FOOT OR ANKLE PAIN ANY LONGER

Conveniently located in Downtown and Midtown Manhattan, NYC, our experienced podiatrists and medical team of professionals are here to help. Call, text, or fill out the form below:

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