Should I Wait To Have Bunion Surgery? This Foot & Ankle Surgeon’s Opinion
I cant tell you how many times a foot and ankle surgeon hears this question. You have just been diagnosed with bunions, they hurt, they are red and swollen, and you are unable to wear your shoes with comfort. Lets start with the basics first.
What is a bunion? A bunion is a bone growth at the base of the big toe. A patients big toe will often lean toward the second toe. In more severe cases, the big toe will lap over or under the second toe. The bone at the base of the big toe will continue to grow because the long bone behind the big toe (the first metatarsal) is moving. The space between the first metatarsal and the second metatarsal continues to get wider over time. Often, the metatarsal bones shift because the ligaments in the foot are lax or stretch more than they should. Patients with bunions usually have flat feet or pronate, which is a structural deformity of the foot. If you have a bunion, chances are someone in your family has had bunions as they run in the family.
After taking an x-ray, your podiatric surgeon will go over the results and show you whats going on. We use quick, digital x-rays at our office and get the results in 30 seconds. Dr. Bowman will take measurements off the x-ray. The measurements are critical because that determines the best treatment option for you.
What are your options if you have a bunion? The first things to do include wearing wider shoes that dont apply pressure to the area, padding the area, physical therapy, injections, anti-inflammatory drugs, and custom orthotics to place in your shoes. All these can help, but the bunion will still be there.
So, should you wait to have surgery? In my opinion, if conservative treatments fail and the pain continues, I know the structural deformity will typically get worse with time. If we perform surgery before the space between the first metatarsal and the second metatarsal gets too wide, we may be able to use a simpler surgical procedure and you may heal more quickly. The longer you wait to have surgery, the more that metatarsal bone will shift, limiting the surgical procedure options and generally taking more time to heal. For some people, there is a point of no return when the space has widened so much that surgery may no longer correct the problem.
Dr. Bowman will take his time with you and explain what the surgery entails and answer all your questions. Now the question we have for you is do you want to get back in your shoes with comfort? Call Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 and a friendly staff member will help you or schedule an appointment online at our website www.houstonfootspecialists.com.
Tags: Bunion Surgery, Bunions, Flat Feet, foot pain, Foot Problems, Foot Surgery, Orthotics, Pronation, Toe Pain