A bunion, also known as hallux valgus, is when the big toe joint is deformed due to misalignment, which usually causes the big toe to point towards the other toes. Bunions can be caused by excessive pressure from improper or narrow shoes, overpronation, previous injuries, birth defects, or arthritis. When other treatments such as custom orthotics, roomier shoes, rest, and pain medication do not help relieve pain, bunion surgery may be necessary.
There are different types of bunion surgeries (bunionectomies) that help remove the bunion and realign the joint and surrounding soft tissues to a normal position. Most of them are performed under local anesthesia and are outpatient procedures. Some common procedures are:
- Osteotomy – When the bone behind the big toe joint is cut and the joint is repositioned.
- Exostectomy – When part of the big toe joint is removed.
- Arthrodesis – When the big toe joint or first metatarsal joint is fused to correct alignment.
After the surgery, the foot is bandaged and sometimes placed in a surgical shoe and the patient will have to keep weight off of the foot for several weeks. Recovery can take anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 months and requires physical therapy and permanent orthotics. Although there is no guarantee that the bunion will not return, for many people it is the best solution to greatly improve their quality of life.
Since bunionectomies are complex procedures that involve bone, ligaments, and surrounding soft tissues, it is important that anyone considering surgery consult with an experienced and highly skilled foot surgeon like Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico at Syracuse Podiatry. Dr. D’Amico is board-certified and specializes in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, so he is the most qualified foot care specialist for these types of procedures. If you are struggling with pain management due to your bunion, or any other foot and ankle condition like diabetic ulcers, Achilles tendinitis, fungal nails, or injuries, Dr. D’Amico and his stellar staff are able to help! Please contact us or call us at (315) 446-3668 at our office in Fayetteville, NY.