When to operate on a bunion

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

No matter how simple the operation, going under the knife always has its risks. That is why it should never be taken lightly and should only be done once there are no more options.

It is widespread for people who suffer from bunions to only think about having surgery once the pain in the foot becomes unbearable. This pain, caused by the lump that grows in the big toe and is caused by malformations in the bone, must be stopped before it becomes unbearable, so many people may wonder when to operate. When should a bunion be used? In the following FastlyHealarticle we will explain it to you.

What is a bunion

Bunions, medically known as hallux valgus, are an overgrowth of the big toe joint. This causes a deformity in the foot and pain when supporting it.

Both growth and subsequent deformity are caused by the bone displacement of the metatarsal, which alters its structure and eventually leads to abnormal development of the joint. This bone mismatch causes a nerve in the foot to compress, causing the bunion to be painful.

But what is it that causes the appearance of bunions? The leading causes are the following:

  • Misuse of footwear: the use of footwear that limits movement, that puts too much pressure on the fingers, or high heels influence the appearance of bunions.
  • Genetic inheritance: it is not that it is a hereditary disease since, as we have seen, it is something structural of the foot, but aspects such as the way of walking are inherited, which influence the appearance of Hallux Valgus.
  • Egyptian foot: that is when the big toe is longer than the rest.
  • Foot problems, for example, pes cavus or flat feet.
  • Other diseases can affect the bones, such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Age: it is proven that the older you are, especially from 40, the more likely you are to suffer bunions. This is basically because the feet have been used more.

When to operate on a bunion

Many people only think about bunion surgery when it is already causing them much pain. This should not be the case, the treatment must start much earlier, and the operation is only essential when other techniques have been tried.

In the beginning, it is always advisable to start with a more conservative treatment that is based on the administration of drugs and physical therapy to prevent the bone from deviating and growing more:

  • Among the drugs that can be administered, some analgesics and anti-inflammatories reduce and relieve pain and prevent the joints from being destroyed further when there is inflammation.
  • Regarding physical measures, an attempt should be made to improve the mechanics of the foot when walking, as well as insoles and splints adapted to each person so that the way of walking can be reeducated and prevent the bunion from getting worse.

The bunion should be operated on when these conservative treatments have no effect and the deformity worsens. Only when these treatments are insufficient can the surgical option be considered valid. Of course, you do not have to let a long time pass and wait for the pain to be very intense; it is better to go through surgery and end this problem permanently.

How is the bunion operation

In recent decades, the surgical treatment of bunions has advanced a lot. Today, it is a high-speed operation, which requires local anesthesia and which the person can leave the clinic the same day that he is operated on.

Currently, there are two different techniques to operate bunions that are chosen depending on each patient’s physical condition and how the joints of the foot are. In this sense, these two methods can be used:

  • Osteotomy: This is a surgical technique known as percutaneous, in which the incision is minimal. This operation consists of aligning the bone that causes the bunion and releasing the soft areas that suffer from this deformation. Once the process is finished, it is unnecessary to enter, and you can return home the same day of the intervention.
  • Without osteotomy: in this case, the intervention is minimal; in fact, it is carried out by making 3 or 4 small incisions through which the material is introduced, making it unnecessary to open the foot to eliminate the bulge caused by the bunion.

However, the consequences of both operations may not be the same; that is why below, we will explain what can happen and the postoperative and recovery after the bunion operation.

Consequences of bunion surgery

Thanks to these new techniques, which are very minimally invasive, it is possible that about 85% of bunions are corrected, significantly improving the quality of life during the recovery of patients. However, a widespread error that can be serious is that only the exostosis, that is, the bunion lump, is removed. If this lump has formed as a result of a deviation of the metatarsal and a deformity in the structure of the foot, this deformation must be corrected so that a bunion does not re-create over time.

Before, the operation had to be performed on both feet simultaneously. This was because the postoperative period was harrowing, and the recovery was long; thus, operating him simultaneously contributed to halving the recovery process. Many people still think that this is still the system of action. However, today it is not necessary to do it simultaneously since the new techniques allow a minimal invasion and a brief postoperative period.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to When to operate a bunion, we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, Joints, and Muscles.

You may also like

Leave a Comment