Are Seniors Able to Get Bunion Surgery?

Foot bunions are deformities that are characterized by the protrusion of a bony bump at the base of the big toe. Sometimes, bunions can be painful, especially if they’re large enough to rub against the shoe. There’s no cut-and-dry rule regarding an age limit for bunion surgery. Seniors can visit a podiatrist serving the Sugar Land area to find out if the procedure might be right for them.

If the deformity isn’t severe, doesn’t interfere with day-to-day activities, and is manageable with conservative treatments, then surgery isn’t necessary. If surgery could be beneficial, then the podiatrist will consider whether a senior is generally healthy enough to tolerate it. Seniors in particular may be at an increased risk of blood clots, adverse reactions to the anesthesia, poor healing, and an unfavorable outcome. Adding to the complexity of this decision is the fact that many seniors have underlying medical conditions, and they may take multiple medications. These factors don’t automatically disqualify them for surgery, but they can increase the risks. Are Seniors Able to Get Bunion Surgery?

Evaluating the Success of Your Bunionectomy

After you have undergone bunion surgery in Sugar Land , it’s normal to be anxious to determine if the procedure was effective. Because bunions sometimes reappear after treatment, patients often want to know as soon as possible if they can consider their bunions a thing of the past. Although your foot doctor will examine your bunion and talk to you about your procedure results, you may be able to evaluate your own foot by considering a few criteria.

The first sign of a successful bunion surgery is that your foot pain has been resolved. Successfully treating foot pain and helping you achieve full mobility is a significant surgical milestone. You should also consider the cosmetic changes to your foot. Many patients find bunions aesthetically unappealing, so if you can’t see your bunion any more after surgery, you will have achieved an important result. Your foot doctor will also use imaging tools to determine if any foot deformities associated with the bunion were adequately corrected. When these guidelines are met, you can consider your surgery a success.

bunions in feet

Beating Your Bunions

Bunions are more than unsightly. They can also be painful and make it difficult to walk or wear shoes. Although bunions are notorious for coming back after treatment, your foot doctor in Sugar Land can now provide care that reduces that chance by addressing the underlying issues that contribute to bunion growth.

Watch this video to learn more about how foot specialists are beating bunions by treating misalignment issues that are at the root of some cases. Doctors now understand that some bunions are caused by misalignment issues in the feet. Bunion surgery that involves both removal of the bunion and treatment of instability or alignment issues can drastically reduce the chances of bunions returning after removal.

Should You Consider Bunion Surgery?

Bunions, which affect women more often than men, might not be dangerous to your overall health, but they are certainly painful. They occur as the result of an enlargement in the joint at the base of the big toe. Because that joint bears a large portion of your weight when you step, a bunion can cause pain with every step. If you’re dealing with a bunion in Sugar Land , should you consider surgery?

Watch this video for some insights about bunion surgery. If your symptoms aren’t relieved by conservative treatments, your foot specialist may recommend surgery. If you develop a bunion, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Conservative treatments are most effective when they are started early.

Common Questions About Revision Bunion Surgeries

Bunions can be quite frustrating for patients, especially when they’ve already had bunion surgery once. It isn’t uncommon for initial bunion surgeries to fail, leading to the need for revision surgeries. If your bunion recurs, your foot pain persists, or your toe is uncomfortably stiff, it may be time to talk to a podiatrist in Sugar Land about having a second bunion surgery . bunion - surgery

Should I consider having a revision bunion surgery?

You and your foot specialist will discuss this issue at length. Revision surgery isn’t right for every patient with bunion surgery failure, but it may be right for you if you experience post-surgical arthritis, bone necrosis, compromised foot function, or severe stiffness. Overcorrection and under-correction are also possible reasons for considering a bunion revision. When you’re making your decision, consider the extent to which your symptoms interfere with your daily activities or affect your quality of life. Consider your level of commitment to strictly following your post-surgical discharge instructions. The recovery and rehabilitation processes are crucial for a successful outcome. Your doctor will also consider your overall health when determining if you’re a good candidate for surgery, including whether you have compromised nerve function or blood flow.

Are there any additional risks?

Yes. Revision bunion surgery is far more challenging than the original surgery. It’s essential to work with a podiatrist who has extensive experience performing revision surgeries, as these surgeries often require fixing the technical mistakes made by the original surgeon. The risks associated with any surgery include adverse reactions to the anesthesia, blood clots, bleeding, infections, and damage to nearby blood vessels and nerves. The risks specifically associated with this surgery include the failure of the bone to heal, problems with blood circulation, nerve damage, and prolonged foot swelling.

What is the recovery process like?

To obtain a successful outcome for your revision surgery, it’s essential not to rush your recovery. It’s possible that a full recovery will take four to six months. You’ll be asked to keep weight off the affected foot for quite some time, perhaps for six to eight weeks. It’s important to plan your recovery carefully by making any necessary home modifications, arranging for help around the house, and taking enough time off work.

Revision Techniques for Patients with Bunions

Bunions are a painful foot deformity that may require surgery. Unfortunately, the first surgery doesn’t always fix the problem. If you’re frustrated by recurring foot problems, it may be time to consider reconstructive foot surgery , commonly called revision surgery. Visit a knowledgeable and skillful podiatrist in Sugar Land to discuss whether reconstructive foot surgery might be right for you. There are several surgical techniques that may be appropriate, depending on your specific situation. bunion - feet

Fixing a Recurrent Bunion

It’s possible for a bunion to come back after the original corrective surgery. This may occur if the first foot surgeon failed to fully grasp the severity of the deformity or used an inappropriate surgical approach. People with particularly flexible feet may be more likely to have a recurrence. When this situation arises, the podiatrist performing the revision surgery might do a Lapidus procedure. The Lapidus approach involves the fusion of the first tarsal-metatarsal (TMT) joint . After realigning the bones, the surgeon fuses the joint to prevent the first metatarsal from moving too much. The Lapidus procedure should prevent the bunion from recurring again.

Addressing Overcorrection of a Bunion

Sometimes, the first foot surgeon might have overcorrected the bunion, such as by tightening the ligaments too much, removing the sesamoid bone, or removing too much of the other bone mass. To address the overcorrection, the reconstructive foot surgeon might make revision bone cuts or fuse the big toe joint in place.

Lengthening a Short Toe

When a foot surgeon must remove some of the bone in order to realign it, the toe becomes shorter. The same effect occurs when the TMT joint is fused. Although some shortening is to be expected, too much shortening can cause problems with the foot’s functioning. Foot pain may also develop. If this is the case, the revision surgery may involve making bone cuts to lengthen the toe. Sometimes, it’s necessary to add bone graft material to rebuild the bone mass.

Solving Post-Surgical Arthritis

Occasionally, bunion patients might develop arthritis in the toe after having the original surgery. Arthritic symptoms might be caused by improper positioning, bone spurs, or infection. Reconstructive foot surgery may be appropriate to remove bone spurs, fuse the joint, or realign the bones.

Getting Ready for Your Bunionectomy

Bunions can be a source of ongoing pain and swelling that can affect your ability to walk and perform your daily routine. If you have a bunion, then your foot specialist may recommend that you undergo bunion removal. Continue reading to learn how to prepare for bunion surgery in Sugar Land . bunion - foot

Undergo Pre-Admission Testing

Before the day of your surgery, your doctor may have you do some pre-admission testing (PAT) to ensure that you are physically and medically fit for surgery. While the nature of these tests can vary, they usually involve the taking of blood samples. Non-invasive heart examinations, physical examinations, and chest x-rays are other examples of PAT.

Stop Nicotine Use

As with many other surgical procedures, you may be advised to quit smoking in the time leading up to your surgery and during your recovery. Nicotine, along with other chemicals contained in cigarettes, can increase your risk for experiencing problems after your bunionectomy. The use of nicotine can slow blood flow to the leg and potentially increase your risk of blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, impede the healing of soft tissue and bone at the surgical site, and increase the chances of infection after surgery. To help ensure the best results from your bunion removal, it’s best not to use any products that contain nicotine before the procedure. Discuss your options for quitting smoking with your surgeon or primary care physician.

Purchase Orthopedic Devices

To promote better healing, your surgeon may advise you to avoid putting weight on your foot after your bunionectomy. To help with this, you may be provided with a list of devices, such as crutches, shower chairs, or walkers, to purchase before and use after your surgery.

Stop Eating and Drinking

It’s important to have as little contents in your stomach at the time of your surgery as possible. For this reason, your doctor will tell you to stop eating and drinking at some point before your appointment, with midnight the night before being typical. Finally, your surgeon may have you avoid certain medications before your surgery.

The Basics of Bunion Surgery

A bunion can cause significant pain and discomfort, and one can even make it difficult for you to walk, if not addressed. If you visit a foot specialist for bunion treatment in Sugar Land, then he may recommend surgery if you’re experiencing trouble walking or toe stiffness and if non-surgical treatments have failed to provide you with relief.

Watch this video to learn about the basics of bunion surgery. Bunions develop when the big toe’s metatarsal bone shifts towards the second toe and results in a bump inside the big toe’s first joint. During the procedure, you may be provided with oral or I.V. sedation and local anesthetic. Your foot will be numbed, and the surgical site will be prepared. To complete the procedure, your surgeon will cut or file away the bunion before suturing the incision closed.

Recovering from Your Bunionectomy

During a bunionectomy, your foot doctor will remove the portion of the metatarsal head that is protruding to reduce the foot pain and pressure you are experiencing. The procedure is usually performed under regional anesthesia on an outpatient basis, so you will return home the same day as your surgery. The recovery process can be lengthy and last from six weeks to as long as a year in some cases, depending on how invasive the procedure was and how severe your condition was before surgery. If you are scheduled for bunion surgery in Sugar Land , here is a look at what you can expect during the recovery.

Bunion - Surgery

Caring for Stitches

After bunion surgery, you will have stitches at the site of the incision. They must be kept dry at all times and will need to be covered when you are showering or bathing. In most cases, your foot doctor can remove the stitches in seven to 21 days after the procedure. In some cases, you may also have pins in your foot that stick out. These are put in place to keep your bones in the proper position for healing. Pins stay in place for longer than stitches and are removed between three and six weeks after surgery.

Keeping Weight Off the Foot

After some bunionectomies, patients are not allowed to put any weight on their foot for six to eight weeks after surgery. Then, only partial weight bearing is allowed for a few more weeks after that before returning to normal walking. If your doctor doesn’t want you to put weight on your foot, he or she will prescribe crutches or another mobility device as needed.

Wearing Special Shoes

After your bunion surgery, you will not be able to wear your normal shoes for a period that can last anywhere from four weeks to four months. During this time, you may wear a walking cast, splint, wooden shoes, or other special shoes designed to support your healing. Your doctor will advise you when you can return to wearing your normal shoes based on how quickly you are healing.

Prevention and Treatment of Bunions

Bunions—bony protrusions that appear at the base of the big toe—can be extremely painful and may interfere with your mobility. If you suffer from bunions, your foot doctor in Sugar Land may recommend a range of treatments , from changing your shoes to bunion surgery .

Watch this video to learn more about bunion treatment options. Depending on the severity of the bunion, conservative treatments, including wearing shoes with wider toe boxes and putting silicone pads on the bunion, can help. For more severe cases, bunion removal surgery may be necessary. Often, bunions can be prevented completely by wearing shoes that don’t squeeze your toes. If you do develop a bunion, beginning treatment as soon as possible may reduce the need for bunion surgery.