Bunion surgery is an outpatient surgical procedure that some people get done for the purpose of basically removing the bunion in the feet.
A bunion in our foot is a bony bump that is found at the base of the big toe. A bunion is a type of foot deformity that leaves some people very uncomfortable. This deformity is a fusion of both bone and soft tissue. When the bunions become painful, inflamed, and too much to handle for everyday life, then you can opt to have the surgery instead of handling the situation yourself.
Bunions can be a very painful condition to have, especially if you don’t take care of your foot. There are many causes of a bunion but usually, it starts with wearing shoes that puts too much pressure in the toe area. These shoes can be very uncomfortable, too narrow, or too small for the foot to handle. When this happens, bunions develop. In research, women are more likely to develop this deformity than males.
Bunion surgery is important especially if the person complaints of too much pain in the deformed area and to correct and re-align the misplaced bone. This is also done for aesthetic purposes because bunions aren’t exactly pleasant to look at. However, this is a necessary treatment option especially if the nonsurgical methods do not work out.
How to prepare for a bunion removal
Preparation for a bunion surgery should be treated like any other surgical procedure. You would have to undergo a series of medical test to ensure that you are fit and qualified for the procedure. Your doctor or surgeon will need to check you heart function, blood for any other illnesses, and urine. They will also take an x-ray of your lungs. Before the surgery, your doctor will advise you to stop taking any medication you’re currently taking. Also, you may need to be put on a water and food diet hours before the procedure. All these are to ensure that there are no miscalculations during the procedure itself and to avoid any complications.
During the surgery itself, a local anesthesia is typically used to perform an ankle block. This anesthetic technique blocks all sensitivities from the ankle below. You will mostly be awake for the surgery; however, you or your doctor could also opt for a general anesthetic. There are many types of bunion removals—the most common are: osteotomy, arthrodesis, and exostectomy.
- In osteotomy, the surgeon will make a cut in the area of your big toe joint to realign it to its normal position.
- In arthrodesis, your surgeon will replace the damaged joint with metal plates or screws to be able to correct the deformity.
- In exostectomy, your surgeon will remove your bunion from the joint without performing the alignment.
After the surgery, your doctor will wrap your foot in a bandage and take you to the recovery room. The anesthesia will start to wear off and your vital stats will be monitored. After a few hours pass, you will be allowed to go home.
Recovering from a Bunion Removal
A recovery from a bunion surgery takes about six to eight weeks. However, a full, functional recovery can take from four up to six months. Avoid getting your stitches wet during this period and don’t put any pressure on the area affected.
After your doctor removes your cast, your doctor will advise you to wear a brace to support the foot while it fully heals. You may need crutches to assist you while walking because you wouldn’t want to put any pressure on it. With time, you can walk and start putting weight and pressure on your foot. Remember to ice your foot and toe to speed the healing and reduce the pain.
Expect some pain and inflammation during this process of healing especially for the first few months. Remember to wear shoes that are very comfortable and have enough space for your toes and avoid wearing shoes that have heels.