The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Podiatry in the Spotlight: Dr. Oz Discounts Effectiveness of Bunion Surgery

Posted by on Thursday, February 27th, 2014

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Dr. Oz runs a very popular TV show that some people refer to as a guide for treating their aches and pains. However, a doctor’s generalized advice should always be taken with a grain of salt. Individualized care from a professional who knows you is the only reliable resource. People often write to us on our website for advice, but there is no substitute for a visit to The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine where a full team can assess your condition. On a December 31st episode, Dr. Oz cautioned people away from getting bunion surgery, but the show only featured one side of the story. For some people, we are of the opinion that bunion surgery is still the best option.

 

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Dr. Oz put forth the opinion that bunion surgery should not be considered. We feel each situation should be deliberated upon carefully in order to make an informed decision.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Why Does Dr. Oz Warn Against Bunion Surgery?

Disfiguring bunions could affect over 50% of women, Dr. Oz said on his show. “Many of you will turn to surgery,” he added, “but will surgery cause more problems than the bunions themselves?”

He invited “People’s Court” judge Marilyn Milian to share her story of bunion surgery. Her right foot had been operated on eight weeks earlier. “I was screaming in excruciating pain,” Milian said of her surgery. She said that the aftermath is “very, very, very painful” and the recovery is slow.

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A bunion can make it hard for you to squeeze into high heel shoes, but is that reason enough to seek surgery?
Image Source: Beaumont.edu

Bunion Surgery Shouldn’t Be Taken Lightly

Part of the worry many doctors (like Dr. Oz) have is this new trend of women electing to have bunion surgery for purely aesthetic reasons. Some women just want to fit into their high heels better or get “designer” feet. We discourage patients who are not suffering any pain related to their bunions from resorting to surgery. Buying shoes with roomier toe boxes, wearing padded inserts and bunion cushions, or doing toe exercises are great alternatives to surgery for some patients.

New Bunion Surgery Procedures Improve Mobility

As we discussed in a previous blog, there are many different types of bunionectomies available at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. These procedures may include:

– Keyhole procedureOnly a small opening is made in the foot, so scarring is minimal and post-operative pain is greatly reduced. Permanent screws affix the joints around the big toe.

– Mini-tightrope procedure: Fiber wire sutures are placed on either side of the metatarsals, pulling the bones into proper alignment. Stitches are removed in a few weeks and the pain is very limited.

– Exostectomy: The bump on the metatarsal bone is shaved with a surgical saw.

A consultation with a surgeon will help you discover the best possible treatment for your bunions. Surgeons consider the extent of your deformity, your activity level, and other factors unique to your situation. If you live in the New York area, please contact us to discuss your options for bunion treatment.

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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.