If you’ve developed a bunion, a bony protrusion at the base of your big toe, wearing shoes and doing regular activity and exercise can be difficult and painful.
We here at Go Feet offer conservative treatments for bunions that include padding, toe spacers, orthotics, wider shoes, and over-the-counter pain medications. When these treatments fail to resolve your pain and your bunion continues to worsen, it may be time for surgery.
Having surgery on your feet is scary, but minimally invasive options are possible — especially if you have only a mild deformity. Here’s what we consider when advising you as to the best treatment for your case.
When surgery is necessary
Bunions affect the metatarsophalangeal joint, or MTP joint, which is critical to weight bearing and distribution when you walk and do other activities.
We usually recommend surgery when conservative treatments aren’t resolving the pain caused by your bunion and when the bunion continues to progress to cause damage to other toes. Bunions can lead to hammertoe, calluses, and ingrown toenails.
A bunion also makes you shift your weight from the painful big toe joint to other parts of your foot, which causes discomfort in the ball of your foot. You may start to limit exercise and other activities, even walking. Your entire quality of life can suffer because of a painful bunion.
When you think of bunion surgery, you may envision an involved procedure during which your foot surgeon cuts your foot bones and repositions them. They’re secured in place using screws or other hardware. This traditional bunion surgery is painful and requires a long recovery.
Medical innovations have led to the development of minimally invasive bunion surgery options that mean easier healing and a faster return to activity. Instead of using long incisions and a saw-like device to cut the deformed bone, your surgeon makes tiny incisions and a burr to shave down the bone.
Recovery from minimally invasive surgery
Minimally invasive techniques mean less damage to surrounding muscles, skin, and other tissue. After surgery, the foot is less swollen and painful. Most patients are able to put weight on the affected foot right after surgery. They regain better range of motion of the big toe sooner and have less reliance on pain medications, too.
Remember, however, that bunion surgery does not mean you can return to wearing narrow shoes that may have contributed to the development of your bunion in the first place.
Am I a candidate?
If you have a mild bunion deformity that just doesn’t improve with padding, splinting, or medications, talk to us here at Go Feet about your surgical options.
Your eligibility for minimally invasive surgery depends on your overall health and the extent of your bunion deformity. People with severe bunions or who have undergone prior bunion surgery or have other toe deformities may need a more involved procedure that requires larger incisions.
We work with you to develop the best treatment plan for your bunion. Our goal is to restore your quality of life and make movement as comfortable and accessible as possible.
If you have painful bunions, contact Go Feet to find out how our board-certified podiatrists and foot surgeons can help. Call one of the locations in the Mays Landing, and Linwood, New Jersey areas, or use the online tool to schedule.