Bunions are caused by abnormal bones in the front of the foot that move out of place resulting in your big toe leaning towards the smaller toes and causing the bone at your big toe joint to push outward (which is the "bunion" or bump that you see on the side of the foot). The Merriam-Webster definition of a bunion is "an inflamed swelling of the small fluid-filled sac on the first joint of the big toe accompanied by enlargement and protrusion of the joint". Likewise, small bunions can also form at the base joint of the smallest (a.k.a "pinky") toe.
If left untreated, bunions can be painful, embarrassing and expose you to other conditions like arthritis. The condition denies you the freedom to enjoy life due to the pain of wearing shoes or the shame from exposing your feet in public.
Bunions are Treatable
Non-surgical treatments can help to relieve the pressure and pain resulting from a bunion. They include medications, wearing comfortable shoes, padding and taping, and using shoe inserts. However, non-surgical methods only mask the condition - they do not get rid of it; that’s where bunion surgery comes in. Bunion surgery involves an incision on the toe joint to remove or realign the soft tissue or bone.
How Bunion Surgery Can Help:
- It works to relieve pain. Most patients who’ve had bunion surgery confessed that it helped to end their agonizing pain. The procedure is the secret to achieving long-term comfort and relief.
- More efficient compared to other methods. While there are many approaches to correcting the condition, nothing comes close to bunion surgery if the operation is done by a professional.
- It helps you increase your physical activities. As already pointed out, a significant number of people have a painful bunion. Since they cannot stand to go through the pain all the time, they tend to shy away from essential daily activities such as walking and exercising. With the surgery, they can approach life just like everyone else.
- Surgery boosts self-confidence. A bunion makes the big toe push toward the smaller ones, making the feet to appear deformed. As a result, you’ll tend to shy away from removing shoes in public. Also, there are selected types of shoes that can work for you. Shoes and sandals that display your feet are out of the question. Surgery will help you become comfortable with your feet once again.
The Downside of Bunion Surgery:
Although bunion surgery offers several advantages, you should be open to the downsides that may result undertaking this operation.
- Pain after the surgery. It takes time for your foot to heal completely, and so you should expect some pain after a three-month duration if it’s not completely healed. During the healing process, you’re likely to experience difficulties walking due to pain.
- You'll need new shoes. The surgery will prevent you from wearing your usual shoes as the healing progresses. Also, a successful bunion procedure will most likely change the shoe types and sizes you can wear.
- Not all bunion procedures are successful. There is a possibility that the bunion may reoccur after a year or so, which can be utterly disheartening.
- Rare, but possible, complications. Surgery can also result in the numbness of the toes and the worst-case scenario: an infection.
Having a bunion can negatively impact your life on a daily basis. Making the decision about whether or not to have bunion surgery is not easy, and we understand that. Whatever you do, be sure to approach a specialist who can advise on the safest approach to treating the condition. If you settle on bunion surgery, it'll be successful if done by a surgeon who specializes in bunion treatment.
Please contact Sweeney Foot & Ankle for more information or to schedule a consultation.