What Patients Should Know About Bunion Surgery

Bunions are foot deformities that cannot be reversed non-surgically. If a bunion specialist in the Sugar Land area diagnoses you with this condition, it means that you have an abnormal, bony bump that protrudes away from the foot. This bump develops at the base of the big toe. Even if you’re not sure if you’re ready to have surgery, you should talk to a specialist about your conservative treatment options. Simple lifestyle changes, like a change in footwear, can help prevent bunions from getting worse. bunion - foot

Asymptomatic bunions might not require surgery.

The surgical realignment of the toe is a serious procedure. If your condition isn’t causing painful symptoms, your doctor will likely recommend that you avoid surgical intervention. It’s possible to develop chronic pain in the area after surgery, even if you didn’t have pain there beforehand. On the other hand, your doctor may determine that surgery is an appropriate option for you if any of the following problems apply to you.

  • You have chronic inflammation that isn’t relieved with rest or medicine.
  • You’re no longer able to bend and straighten the affected toe.
  • You’re experiencing pain despite lifestyle modifications and medications.
  • You suffer from significant foot pain that interferes with your daily activities.

There are several types of bunion surgery.

Bunion surgery is complex, and there are several approaches your doctor could use. The technique used on your foot depends on the underlying cause of the deformity. An osteotomy involves cutting the bone and realigning the ends. The bone pieces are held in place with surgical hardware like screws or pins. An osteotomy may be performed in combination with soft tissue correction, if your soft tissues are too tight on one side of the toe, and too loose on the other side. Other surgical options include arthrodesis and resection arthroplasty.

You have a few anesthesia options.

It usually isn’t necessary to have general anesthesia for bunion surgery. Some patients have the operation with just local anesthesia, which numbs the foot. Regional anesthesia is injected at the knee area to numb some of the leg above the foot. Spinal anesthesia eliminates all feeling below the waist. If you choose local, regional, or spinal anesthesia, you may decide to request a sedative to help you stay relaxed during the procedure.

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