Bunion Surgery Myths De-Bunked
So you need bunion surgery? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many Americans suffer from this bone deformity that forms at the base of the big toe.
There are many different types of bunion surgery offered, each having their own benefits and recovery time. In most cases, bunion surgery is more often than not performed as an out-patient procedure. Be mindful that surgery involves more than just simply shaving the boney protrusion. It usually requires the bones to be realigned.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding foot surgery. Here are a few “myths” that we’d like to de-bunk…
- Bunion surgery is more painful than other types of surgeries: Some discomfort should be expected with any surgery. Bunion surgery is no more painful than any other surgical procedure. Due to the foot being below the heart, some people describe an increased discomfort because blood naturally rushes to the feet. This can cause a throbbing feeling at the surgery site. Other common symptoms after surgery include numbness, stiffness, and swelling. Working closely with your doctor regarding pain management can limit the amount of discomfort you experience.
- Bunion surgery means a long time in cast and crutches: Not necessarily. Surgery for larger or more severe bunions may require these things, but podiatric surgeons have new technologies and innovations in treatment that limit the time you spend in a cast. In some cases, you can be back on your feet in as little as two weeks.
- Bunions grow back after surgery: It’s possible, but is statistically highly unlikely.
- Bunion surgery leaves an awful scar: Surgeons currently use alternate types of surgery with minimal incisions. These help leave less of a scar than in years past. There are also a number of treatments available today that can minimize the visibility of scar tissue.
Dr. M. Todd Hyatt, a podiatrist with Triad Foot Center, advises that long recoveries used to be common, which included persistent swelling and stiffness, but advanced techniques have made down time and recovery shorter than ever.
As part of your recovery you will need to rest, elevate your foot, and if necessary, wear a surgery shoe. Your doctor may also advise you to apply ice and decrease any walking, which helps to aid in the healing process. When showering you will need to cover your foot to prevent the stiches from getting wet. Stitches are generally removed a couple of weeks post-surgery.
Triad Foot Center’s own board-certified podiatrist and surgeon Dr. Hyatt states that “we use the ‘RICE’ acronym when prescribing aftercare to patients, which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.” RICE promotes healing and is helpful in decreasing pain and swelling.
The most common recovery time for bunion surgery is around six weeks. However, depending on the type of surgery and severity of the bone deformity, a full recovery from bunion surgery can range from six months to one year. This recovery time is generally rare.
Returning to work again depends on which type of surgery you received and the type of job you have. Someone who had a small bunion corrected and works a desk job could return to work within two weeks of surgery. However, a job that requires lots of walking and physical activity could require a leave of up to two months.
Bunions can be painful nuisances. With advanced technology, it is now possible to quickly remedy the problem! Click here to request an appointment with one of our surgeons.
Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please click here.