By David Sabet, D.P.M.
Should I Wait To Have My Bunions Fixed?
Many years ago the common wisdom was to wait until the pain was unbearable. We now know this was wrong and it seems obvious if we consider the following:
- Bunions worsen with time
- Irreversible joint damage may occur
- Most bunions are inherited
We now advise bunion repair for the following symptoms:
- Pain or discomfort during normal activities
- Pain or discomfort with regular shoes
- A family history of bunions
- A severe or advanced bunion which can create permanent joint damage
Before and After
Can Bunions be Repaired by Laser Surgery?
Unfortunately, no. While the laser is used in many surgical fields it has no place in bunion surgery. The laser would destroy the bone we intend to repair. Instead, surgical instruments have been designed specifically for the delicate bone surgery.
Is There A Lot Of Pain After Surgery?
Bunion repair is performed at an outpatient center where an anesthesiologist provides light sedation during the procedure. There is no pain or discomfort during the procedure. After surgery, your foot is numb from local anesthetic for as long as 24 hours. When the anesthetic wears off discomfort is minimal for most people. In over 25 years of practice I have performed more than 3,000 bunionectomies. This experience allows for the best possible post-operative course.
Before and After
Will I Need Surgery Again In The Future?
The structural or three plane bunionectomy makes additional surgery unlikely. Also, absorbable screws are used which dissolve in the body and do not require removal.
How Soon Can I Return To My Normal Activities?
We try to have people up and walking the day after surgery in a special post-operative shoe. Most patients can return to a roomy casual shoe in 3 to 4 weeks. Allowing people to get into improper shoes too quickly or encouraging too much activity can jeopardize the final result.
Aren't There Any Other Ways To Treat A Bunion?
We have many ways to treat bunions, but surgery is the only method to 'cure' the deformity. Other options include prescription supports, wider shoes and avoidance of aggravating activities. Unfortunately, bunions are slowly progressive and conservative treatment must be modified to keep up with the severity of the deformity. You should personally consult with us to learn the specific approach which is best for you.