A Pain in the Toe: Debunking the Top 5 Bunion Surgery Myths
Posted by Jenn F. on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
Bunion surgery is steeped in myths. Patients come in having “read something on the Internet” or “heard from someone” about “the bunion operation,” but in reality, there are more than 100 procedures that may be done to alleviate bunion pain and deformity. So how can any one explanation provide individuals with all the information necessary to make an informed decision? The New York podiatrists at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine are highly skilled and experienced. We can perform everything from traditional bone cuts to the minimally-invasive mini-tightrope procedure, depending on several different factors. We don’t push surgery on anyone. Come on in for a consultation to weigh your options. It can’t hurt to have accurate information.
How Do Surgeons Decide on a Bunion Procedure?
The type of procedure our surgeons choose depends upon:
– The severity of the bunion
– The type of foot the patient has
– Patient activity level
– Other health issues
– Expectations for recovery
Top 5 Bunion Surgery Myths
1. Bunion surgery is one of the most painful surgeries you can get. Honestly, what hurts the most is the mental anguish of having limited mobility. Foot surgery can lend itself to increase post-op pain simply because you use the feet a lot and they are lowest to the ground, so a lot of blood can rush down to the area. A little bit of swelling can put pressure on the nerves there, which are not as well protected by soft tissue as other body parts. With daily elevation and the prescription pain medication we give our patients, the physical discomfort should be minimal.
2. Bunions will come back after surgery. Recurrence is possible in some cases, but it is something we very rarely see. Patients who visit a podiatrist for regular checkups don’t have to worry about the bunion becoming a problem again because podiatrists are likely to suggest shoe modifications, custom insoles, or other interventions that prevent excessive motion in the foot.
3. You will need to be in a cast and on crutches for months. This is a dated perception. Nowadays, there are many procedures we can do that’ll put you in a walking surgical shoe for six weeks. Casting and crutches are still used today, but only in cases with large bunions where bone cuts have been made. More often than not, a surgeon will recommend a fusion procedure where you’ll be doing some walking in a special post-op boot two weeks after your operation. Most people return to work within two weeks. Jobs that require excessive walking may need a medical leave of up to two months if light duty cannot be resumed in the meantime.
4. Surgery results in ugly scars. You needn’t worry about having a “Franken-foot” with the newer procedures. In addition to choosing a minimally invasive technique with a very minuscule incision, we also offer advanced therapies like ultrasound and laser that breakup or prevent the formation of scar tissue and stimulate the body’s natural healing. Topical creams and proper post-op nutrition can also help you heal beautifully.
5. Only painful bunions should be removed. We have performed surgeries on patients who have a difficult time finding shoes that fit, as an ill-fitting shoe can lead to many other problems down the road, from plantar fasciitis to back pain. If you can no longer participate in sports you love and feel depressed about your unsightly feet, then we consider that a problem as well. Pain is the most common reason people come in for bunion treatment, but it’s not the only reason.
Call Us for the Best Bunion Treatment NYC & Westchester Have to Offer
We have several decades of experience in treating bunions. In fact, bunions are one of Dr. Geldwert’s specialties. He regularly speaks at national conferences about the various types of procedures he performs. Our NYC podiatrists attend educational seminars and are fully committed to learning about all the latest and greatest techniques that can help their patients best. Book an appointment at our Manhattan or Westchester location today.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. 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.