When you have a painful bunion that has not responded to non-surgical treatments, it is time to seek a resolution for your problem. Most people don’t realize that, the longer someone lives with a foot deformity, the more serious the situation can become. Not only is it difficult to walk, but the constant pressure on the big toe can evolve into damage to the adjoining toe, to an altered walking pattern, to the development of arthritis in the toe, and, depending on the extent of the issue, an inability to bend the big toe. Any or all of these symptoms can drastically alter the quality of your life.
The surgery is performed in a clinic or a hospital. Before the operation, you will be given a general anesthesia so that you will not be in pain, or you will have an ankle block that numbs the foot during the surgery. The surgeon makes one or two incisions at the operation site. This is the opening where the tendons and ligaments will be repaired or removed, the joint of the big toe or the bone itself may need to be cut. If there is extensive joint damage, the surgeon may need to secure the bones in place with screws or wires. If the joint of the toe cannot be repaired, it may be removed and replaced with a joint implant. If a pin is used to help the joint heal correctly, it will be removed after a few weeks of recovery.
Post Surgery Recovery
Your stitches will be removed after a few weeks, but your full recovery may take anywhere from several months to a year. Your surgeon will instruct you on the need for elevating your foot, how long you will need to use a medical shoe, the use of crutches or a walker, when you can drive a vehicle, what side effects to be aware of, the importance of keeping your stitches and dressing dry, when you can resume normal foot activities, and when to schedule your follow up office visits.