Surgical bunion treatment
Bunion surgery is a complex procedure and the recovery period can be long, uncomfortable and debilitating. The big toe joint takes a lot of weight from the body as you are standing and walking, and not being able to rely on it can have a big impact on daily life. As a result, most people try as many of the non-surgical bunion treatments as possible before seriously considering a bunion operation.
There are many different types of bunion surgery, depending on the severity and nature of the bunion. Types of bunion surgery include:
- Repair of the soft tissue around the joint.
- Removing damaged joint surfaces (arthrodesis).
- Reducing the size of the lump on the joint (exostectomy); this is largely cosmetic as this type of bunion surgery does not correct the joint itself.
- Taking away the damaged part of the joint (resection arthroplasty).
- Realigning the joint to give the foot more stability (osteotomy).
- A new, minimally invasive type of bunion surgery has been developed that provides maximum benefits with reduced tissue damage, operation time and recovery period. However, this type of bunion treatment is not widely available yet and may only be suitable for some bunions.
Is surgical bunion treatment always effective?
Bunion surgery is not guaranteed to cure your bunion; it may not completely return your foot to normal, and can sometimes lead to lasting complications including as calluses or corns. The stability and strength of the joint may also be compromised, and you may find that your bunion recurs in the future.
There can also be side-effects associated with surgical bunion treatment. These include possible nerve or tissue damage leading to numbness or stiffness of the toe, shortened toe due to bone being removed, abnormal toe position, persistent pain and swelling, and surgical complications including wound infection.
Despite surgical bunion treatment not being an easy choice, around 85% of people who undergo a bunion operation report that they are happy with the results. A treatment with this sort of satisfaction rate is definitely not to be dismissed.