Do Bunions Require Surgery?

Bunions aren’t a sign of illness, but they can cause bothersome problems, from irritating pain and physical discomfort to joint stiffness and self-consciousness. Not all bunions require surgery, but if your symptoms are severe, you might benefit quite a bit from this procedure.

Learn more about your options by calling us at San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center or requesting an appointment through our website. 

Bunion basics

Bunions form when the first metatarsal bone of your foot turns outward while your big toe turns inward. These shifts cause the joint to jut out, forming a rounded bump. Because most shoes don’t allow for this protrusion, a lot of pressure ends up being placed on the joint. 

Over time, the fluid-filled sac surrounding and cushioning the joint known as the bursa becomes inflamed. This can result in pain, redness, and stiffness.

Bunion causes

Most anyone can develop a bunion, but certain factors can increase your risk or worsen your symptoms once they start. These factors include:

Treatment for bunions

Not all bunions require treatment, but if your symptoms are chronically uncomfortable, you may benefit from conservative treatments, such as:

In more severe cases, we may recommend a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy.

Surgery for bunions

A bunionectomy is an outpatient procedure during which we remove bone and align the joint in your foot. Depending on the specifics of your condition, we may recommend one of several techniques. 

Before your surgery, you receive anesthesia for numbness and relaxation. From there, your surgeon makes an incision in the top of the big toe on your affected foot, through which bone reshaping and realignment take place.

After bunion surgery

After your bunion surgery is complete, you experience some amount of swelling and pain, which you can ease with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication. You’ll need to keep your foot elevated for a few days as you start the healing process. And you may need to use crutches for about a week or two. 

All of this tends to be worth it, as healing progresses and you notice fewer problems. 

To determine whether you’re a good candidate for bunion surgery or other treatments, reach out to us today. You can call, text, or use our online booking system. Our team at San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center would love to answer any questions you may have.

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