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Everything You Need to Know About Bunion Surgery in NYC

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Your feet carry you all day- from work, to walking the dog at the park, to walking through the mall buying gifts for your loved ones. The average adult walks 3,000 steps a day- that’s 3 miles! That’s a lot of wear and tear on your feet. It’s no wonder so many of us have foot problems. 

One of the most common foot problems we experience are bunions. One out of three people over the age of 65 experience bunions. But what causes them and how do you remove them? Below is everything you need to know about bunions and bunion surgery

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a bone deformity in the joint of the big toe. In medical terms, it is called a hallux valgus. The most obvious symptoms of a bunion is a bony protrusion on the side of the foot. The big toe pushes the other toes to the side causing the bone to bulge outward. Other symptoms may be pain, swelling, stiffness of the foot, hard calloused skin, the big toe overlapping the second toe and changing the shape of the foot. If left untreated these symptoms get worse. 

How Does it Happen?

A bunion develops over time from wearing tight shoes, an injury, or it may be hereditary. A bunion occurs when the big toe joint gets bigger, protrudes from the side of the foot and pushes the other toes to the side causing pain. 

Bunions may be caused by the inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Wearing high heeled shoes may be a risk factor for bunions because all your toes are pushed forward and squeezed together. In fact, women get bunions more often than men because of high heeled shoes. 

What to Do About it?

Some people choose to wear more comfortable (wider and bigger) shoes, instead of high heels, or wear insoles to cushion the foot to relieve bunion pain. However, if you still feel pain and discomfort after changing your shoes, bunion surgery may be the right option for you.

If you find that your bunion pain is preventing you from enjoying your daily life or you can’t walk more than a few blocks without experiencing pain, an expert foot doctor in NYC may recommend bunion surgery. 

A foot doctor will diagnosis your bunion by looking at it, but he may also use x-rays to determine the condition of the joint and bone and to plan the surgery. 

There are three types of bunion surgery: osteotomy, exostectomy, and arthrodesis. 

  • In an osteotomy, the foot doctor cuts the bone to fix the alignment and straighten out the foot.

  • In an exostectomy, the foot doctor removes the part of the foot that bulges out and realigns the ligaments around the big toe. You can usually return home the same day after this type of procedure.

  • During an arthrodesis, the bones in a joint are fused together to prevent further movement. This type of surgery is used as a last case scenario when all other options have been exhausted. 

What to Expect After Surgery?

After bunion surgery, you will wear a boot or cast for the first 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, the stitches can also be removed. When the boot or cast is removed, you will need to wear a brace and use crutches. Eventually, you will be able to start putting pressure on the foot. After about 6 weeks you will be able to wear regular footwear. 

Your foot doctor will prescribe pain medication, however, most patients find that over the counter pain relievers work well for them. If you follow the foot doctor’s instruction, you should be able to recover quickly and be back up on your feet in no time!

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