While some bunions do not need to be removed for medical reasons, in cases where the bunion causes pain or discomfort, bunion surgery (bunionectomy) may be necessary. Additionally, people who are unhappy with the appearance of their bunion or bunions may also desire a bunionectomy.
At the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles, our expert podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons specialize in both conservative treatments and minimally invasive bunionectomy procedures. If you suffer from bunions and are interested in learning about bunion treatment at our outpatient center, please feel free to call us at 888.225.0763.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is a protrusion or bump on the side of the big toe joint that causes the big toe to grow inward toward the other toes. While there are many causes of bunions, the most common cause is genetics, as foot deformities are most often inherited. Symptoms of a bunion include:
- Painful lump on foot
- Sore feet
- Lump on outside of foot
- Pain in joint of big toe
- Painful feet
- Difficulty wearing regular footwear
- Difficulty wearing high heel shoes due to pain or irritation from the bunion
If you have any of the above symptoms, you may have a symptomatic bunion. Early diagnosis for bunions is crucial for preventing bunion progression and growth, as bunions often grow larger over time. You can help prevent bunion growth by wearing proper shoes and exerting proper foot care. To learn more about caring for bunions, you should consult with a board-certified foot doctor.
When bunions are causing pain or discomfort, or make wearing shoes difficult, you may want to consider undergoing bunion surgery. Additionally, patients may also have the procedure to improve the aesthetic appearance of their feet.
The procedure, called bunionectomy, involves the removal of the inflamed tissue around the big toe joint. During bunion removal, your surgeon will use IV sedation to ensure you remain pain-free and comfortable throughout the procedure. First, the surgeon will make an incision at the top of the big toe or along the side of the foot, and then will remove a portion of the bone in order to realign the big toe joint. Screws, pins, or plates may be utilized to help support the bone in its new position.
Because bunion surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, it can be performed on an outpatient basis, in which patients can go home the same day as their surgery. The major benefits of outpatient surgery include a faster recovery time and less exposure to possible infection than in traditional hospital settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is a candidate for a bunionectomy?
A: Not everyone is a good candidate for a bunionectomy, and if a bunion is in its early stages, you may want to consider less invasive treatments. Bunions tend to worsen with time, so it’s important to seek treatment early if you think you may be suffering from bunions.
Q: When will I be able to walk after a bunionectomy?
A: You should be able to bear weight with the aid of a protective boot immediately after your bunionectomy. Some patients require crutches to aid them in walking for the first few days. Your surgeon will let you know when you can resume walking and other normal activities after having surgery.
Q: Is it possible that my bunion will come back after surgery?
A: Bunionectomy is a very effective treatment in that it removes the bunion, relieving the pain and discomfort it can cause when walking and performing other activities. However, proper foot care after surgery is essential to prevent bunions from recurring. After surgery, you should avoid excessive exposure to high heels and other improper footwear. You may also want to consider using corrective orthotics to treat the biomechanical cause (inherited type of walk or gait) of the bunion.
Q: Is a bunionectomy painful?
A: While patients do experience some pain after a bunionectomy, OTC pain relievers and anti-inflammatories offer effective relief.
Q: Will I be under anesthesia during surgery?
A: At the Bunion Center of Excellence, our surgeons perform a bunionectomy with IV sedation. You will not have to be under anesthesia for most types of bunion correction.
Best Bunionectomy in Los Angeles
If you are interested in learning more about having your bunion removed, or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our world-renowned foot specialists, please contact the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles. You can reach our outpatient center by calling 888.225.0763 or by filling out our online contact form.
Next, read about hammertoe surgery.