Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists Answers FAQs for Patients
As experienced podiatrists, Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists treats a variety of conditions affecting your feet. Many of our patients come to us for bunion treatment in Sugar Land and Houston, TX. Below, you’ll find the answers to several frequently asked questions regarding how we treat bunions. We also encourage you to contact our offices with any additional questions or concerns, and we’ll do our best to alleviate your anxieties about having bunion treatment or surgery in our state-of-the-art facilities.
Bunions occur when the joint found at the base of the big toe becomes enlarged, usually due to stress on the feet or abnormal joint motion. A similar condition affecting the little toe is called a bunionette or tailor’s bunion. Bunions may not exactly be hereditary, but they do tend to run in families who pass on foot types more likely to develop them. Some bunions are caused by injuries, neuromuscular disorders, arthritis, and congenital deformities. Common bunion symptoms include redness, pain, swelling, corns, firm bumps around the big toe or the outside edge of your foot, and restricted movement of the big toe.
Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists provides many types of bunion treatment in our Sugar Land and Houston, TX offices. Depending on the severity of your bunion, we may recommend trying anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone injections to reduce the pain. You could also try padding the bunion or tapping your foot to keep it in a position that’s not putting a lot of extra stress on the joint while it heals. Physical therapy, orthotics shoe inserts, and ultrasound therapy are other treatment options you may consider. However, when these early treatments fail or your bunion has become too large for these treatments to work, bunion surgery may be necessary.
The sooner you identify and seek treatment for a bunion, the less likely it is you’ll need surgery. Bunions tend to grow larger and become more painful the longer you ignore treatment. Some patients may not need surgery, but our podiatrists will go over all the different treatment options with you in greater detail. Moderate to severe bunions usually require surgery to correct the deformity and reduce damage to the joint. If bunion pain is preventing you from walking or living the active lifestyle you want, it may be time to discuss surgical options with our foot and ankle specialists.
Most bunion surgeries are performed while you’re awake using local anesthesia with intravenous sedation to numb your foot and relax you. Occasionally, general anesthesia may be used. Bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure with minimal discomfort reported by patients for 3-5 days, although this may vary by patient. Following our instructions will help you reduce pain and swelling after your procedure.
After your bunion surgery, we’ll monitor you closely to ensure your breathing, blood pressure, and pulse are stable and sensation and circulation have returned to your foot before discharging you. Recovery after surgery takes time and will vary by procedure and patient. You may experience pain, swelling, or discomfort for a few weeks after surgery. Thanks to technological advancements, bunion surgeries now utilize smaller incisions and less removal or realignment of soft tissues. This translates into less recovery time after procedures and less scarring on average.
Complications can happen after any surgery. Rare complications from bunion surgery may include swelling, numbness, stiffness, delayed healing, infection, or nerve damage. If you follow our post-op instructions carefully, you can significantly reduce your chances of complications.
You should keep your foot elevated for at least a few days after bunion surgery. Some patients may need to wear a brace for up to 6-8 weeks. Thanks to the aid of a protective boot, you should be back on your feet again in practically no time. Being active and mobile after surgery aids in your recovery and reduces your chances of post-surgical complications. However, the specifics of when you’ll be able to walk after bunion surgery should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
Yes. There is always a risk for bunions to come back. However, many patients can avoid this by following our instructions for recovery and wearing orthotics and arch supports going forward.
At Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists, we make it super easy to schedule an appointment at our Sugar Land or Houston office. You can schedule an appointment online from the comfort of your own home. If you’re a new patient, you’ll also find a list of items to bring with you to your first appointment, as well as our Patient Registration Form. We look forward to helping you get back on your feet again soon!