When Should I Get Bunion Surgery?
Bunion surgery may help people with bunion pain become active again and get back to the cherished activities they’ve been missing out on. A patient whose daily life is affected by the pain and is unable to comfortably wear shoes (after trying more comfortable footwear, padding, toe spacers, anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen, or other treatments to no avail) may be a candidate for bunion surgery. Studies have now shown that earlier intervention may lead to better results – as opposed to the traditional belief that you should wait as long as possible to treat your bunion.1,2
When carefully following post-op instructions from your surgeon, the Lapiplasty® Procedure offers a fairly manageable recovery process and timeline. It is important to remember that each patient’s postoperative experience can vary, and an individual recovery plan will be developed by your doctor based on several factors, including additional surgical procedures performed, your specific health condition(s), and the doctor’s preferred post-operative protocol.
During a consultation, a surgeon will assess the severity of your bunion and medical history. If you are still experiencing bunion pain that’s affecting the quality of your life after attempting conservative, non-surgical treatments, it’s time to explore the option of bunion surgery.
Keep the communication open and honest with your surgeon so you understand the procedure itself, recovery and rehabilitation period, as well as how much time off and extra support you’ll need (along with any other considerations to make while you heal). The combination of guidance from your doctor, your specific medical circumstances, and overall comfort level with the surgery will ultimately help you make the right decision.
How to measure the severity of a bunion
Bunions can be mild, moderate, or severe; a mild bunion is only a bony bump on the inner side of the foot with symptoms that may go unnoticed. As the bunion gets more severe, pain and other deformities can occur such as the big toe being pushed below or on top of the second toe (crossover toe).1
Bunions will not go away on their own.1 Whether you are in the early stages of having a bunion or have already been dealing with it for some time, it’s best to consult with a surgeon sooner rather than later
How have treatments worked so far?
Remedies such as choosing different footwear (such as flat shoes with a round, wide-toe box) and anti-inflammatory pain medication (such as ibuprofen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs) may assist with alleviating bunion pain. Keep in mind that an increase in activity levels, weight gain, or other foot problems may contribute to the progression of the bunion and cause symptoms to flare up.
Communicate any updates regarding your bunion with your doctor; they can help put together a treatment plan that is appropriate for your circumstances. Whether that involves surgery or conservative treatments, the goal should be focused on living a more comfortable life.
Consider the benefits of surgery
Once you suspect you have a bunion, it’s time to consult with your doctor before looking into any additional alternatives, because only your doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment, which may involve surgery.
Ask yourself how much your life would be improved if you addressed your bunion pain. Would you be able to stand and walk comfortably again? Would you get your social life back from being able to participate in the physical activities you’ve been missing out on?
The Lapiplasty® Procedure addresses the root cause of the deformity by realigning and securing the unstable joint.3,5 After the surgery, you can expect to be back on your feet (in a walking boot) within 2 weeks.6, 7 At 4-5 months post-op, you would be able to wear normal footwear and return to full, unrestricted activities.6
Additionally, a wider range of shoes will fit better, and you will have the freedom to continue your daily activities with your best foot forward!
Conclusion: Consultation with a Healthcare Professional
When researching bunion surgery, it’s best to seek advice from a foot specialist. They can help assess your particular condition while taking your personal preferences and goals into account. (Remember that a good doctor will always work with their patient as a team and will be committed for the long term!)
If you’re nervous, here are a few questions and conversation starters to keep in mind before your initial consultation:
– Discuss your concerns and symptoms.
– Ask what your treatment options are.
– Find out what your expected recovery time would be.
– Ask how the surgery will be a personalized approach to your daily life.
– Inquire about the risks and complications involved.
– Ask about the surgeon’s experience and patient success stories.
– Have them walk through any preparations you’d need to make before surgery