If you have a bunion, and you've tried numerous treatments to help manage the pain but the pain is still interfering with your life or is getting worse, your doctor might recommend a bunionectomy procedure. Surgery may be the best solution so you can walk and stay active without being in severe pain. Here's a look at what a bunionectomy procedure might entail.
The Goal Is To Provide Pain Relief
A bunionectomy procedure isn't considered cosmetic surgery. Instead, the goal is to provide pain relief and straighten the toe. In order to provide pain relief, the surgeon may remove tissue and straighten your toe, so your toe may have an improved appearance after the surgery, but the main goal is to improve your quality of life by reducing pain so you can stay active.
There Are Several Approaches To Surgery
Every bunion is unique, so your bunionectomy is tailored to the severity of your condition. You might need minor surgery or a complex procedure. The surgeon might need to tighten or lengthen ligaments or tendons in your toe. This could help your toe straighten out.
The surgeon might need to remove some bone so your toe can be straightened. You might need to have metal pins put in your toe to keep the bones straight so they can fuse.
If your bunion is the result of arthritis in your toe, the surgeon might need to perform joint surgery too. Arthritis often damages the joint, so surgery is usually more complex than if you have a bunion from improper footwear.
The Procedure May Be Done With An Ankle Block
It's common for a bunionectomy procedure to be done as an outpatient. You might even have an ankle block rather than general anesthesia. However, the doctor will assess your general health when determining whether you'll need a short hospital stay and the type of anesthesia to use.
You May Go Home With A Cast
You'll need to protect your toe so it can heal properly. Your doctor may put a cast on your foot or have you wear a surgical boot. You might need a walker to help you stay stable when walking so you don't risk falling down. Your doctor will provide you with recovery instructions so you know how to care for your foot at home while it heals.
You might need to do exercises to help with healing, or your doctor may send you to physical therapy. It could be several months before your toe is healed fully, but you should make a lot of progress toward healing much sooner than that.
The length of time it takes to recover depends on the type of surgery you have. Your doctor will explain everything you need to know before you have the procedure so you know what to expect once you go home to recover.