The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Bunion Surgery: A Long-Term Solution to Pain

Posted by on Monday, July 20th, 2015


Mr. Tan Wen Jie was a 21-year-old undergraduate student with painful bunions.1 He’d had problems with the bony protrusions since he was 10, but it began to worsen significantly when he had a job that required him to be on his feet all day. He began shifting his gait to accommodate the bunions, which caused a stress fracture in his opposite foot. He found he was passing on outings with friends, unable to find footwear, and unable to do his regular exercises because of the pain. Patients like Tan Wen Jie, whose day-to-day activities are hindered, and who suffer tremendous toe joint pain are excellent candidates for bunion surgery. With advances in modern technology, patients with bunion pain no longer have to suffer.

ny bunion
Bunions may be exacerbated by footwear choice, but are often hereditary in nature. Image Source: (Maegan Tintari)

Why Choose Surgery?

It’s estimated that 30% of people who seek professional treatment for bunions have a deformity severe enough to impair their quality of life. There are countless others who suffer but who simply live with the bump and the pain and do not seek treatment. Non-surgical interventions like a change in footwear, orthotic insoles and night splints can help ease the pressure on the bunions, but they cannot correct the deformity or prevent bunions from worsening. Untreated bunion complications may include: corns, calluses, skin irritation, ingrown toenails, hammer toe, loss of feeling, inflammation, reduced mobility and arthritis.

Bunion Surgery Recovery

In the past, patients were put into casts and endured extended recovery periods of 2-3 months before they could walk again. Some patients were put in wheelchairs if they could not manage a pair of crutches. Nowadays, surgical techniques have reduced post-surgery pain and recovery time drastically. Most patients are “up and about” the day after their surgeries and back to light sports just six weeks later.  Instead of casts and crutches, we have protective surgical shoes,  hands-free crutches and walking boots at our disposal. Jogging can often be resumed three months after bunion surgery.

Bunion Surgery Outcomes

For Mr. Tan, bunion surgery was life-changing. Over a year later, he is now back to his regular daily activities and free from pain. A vast majority of patients have excellent outcomes from surgery and regain full function of their feet once the bony alignment and muscle imbalances are corrected. A small percentage of bunions (2 to 10%) return at some point after surgery. Other complications include pain, stiffness, numbness and scarring. However, for most patients, the indisputable benefits outweigh the minimal risks. With more than 40 different bunion procedures to choose from, surgery is customized to the individual. “Not one specific bunion-removal surgery works for everyone,” explains our very own Dr. Josef J. Geldwert in an interview with Westchester Magazine.2Elana Krasner, “Identifying Causes and Types of Foot Pain in Adults,” Westchester Magazine, April 2013. That is why it’s important to find a professional who is up-to-date on all the latest surgical techniques.

NYC Bunion Treatment

The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine specializes in bunion repair, with its team of highly specialized, experienced, board-certified podiatric surgeons. Our experts in bunion care have written, lectured and participated in interviews on the subject, in addition to successfully operating on more than 4,000 feet. Schedule your appointment with the very best in NYC bunion care here.




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2. Elana Krasner, “Identifying Causes and Types of Foot Pain in Adults,” Westchester Magazine, April 2013.

If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.