Typically, bunion surgery is not the first recommendation by orthopedic specialists or a podiatrist. For many patients, especially before serious damage has been done to the joint, splints and a change of shoes can be effective in realigning the joint and relieving the pain.
However, when non-surgical methods of correcting the joint are not possible, or not successful, bunion surgery is often the only option. Today’s surgical procedures are much more effective than those completed even a few years ago and, for the vast majority of patients, it will be done on an outpatient basis.
There are various specific types of bunion surgery which your orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist will consider for your specific joint problem. In some cases, other surgical procedures may need to be completed at the same time, or in the future, to restore fully the weight balance to the foot.
It is important to talk to your doctor about the specific type of bunion surgery he or she is recommending. Some will include an actual removal of part of the bone causing the bump while others include small pieces removed from the bone to realign the toe.
There is also the option for different types of fusions to permanently place the toe and foot in alignment. More recently implanting of artificial joints is also used to replace the damaged bone in the foot.
Depending on the type of procedure used for your bunion surgery, the healing or recovery time can be a couple of months to up to a year. However, most patients will have use of the foot within a few months but there will be some necessary changes in footwear as well as the use of casts, splints and orthotics for several weeks or more.
The stitches will usually be removed from the incision site within 3 weeks of the procedure, with some as early as one week. During this time, the foot should be kept dry and the incision should be carefully monitored.
Follow instructions from your doctors about walking or putting weight on your foot after bunion surgery. For many procedures there will be some weight bearing allowed after a few weeks after the procedure while for others it may be longer. Your doctor will schedule regular appointments and let you know when you can begin to resume normal activity after the procedure.
If you are considering bunion surgery, visit our doctors at Suburban Orthopaedics. With experience and specialization in foot surgery, we can help. To learn more see us at www.suburbanortho.com or follow us on Twitter.