A bunion is a bump on the outside of your big toe, which is the outward sign of a bone deformity that causes the big toe to move out of place and drift toward the second toe. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we see many patients with this condition. Bunions are progressive and sometimes require surgery (known as a bunionectomy) to correct. Before making the decision to have a bunionectomy, here are some questions you should ask:
1. Are their non-invasive treatments that might work for me? Although the only way to actually remove a bunion is through surgery, there are a number of other treatment options that can bring pain relief including: padding, orthotics, exercises, and splints. In some cases these may slow the progression of the bunion. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul M. DeMarco will discuss all treatment possibilities with you and make sure that you understand your options.
2. If you do decide on surgery, ask your surgeon how many bunionectomies he or she has performed? Bunions are caused by a biomechanical defect in the foot. This can occur in several different ways and therefore there are multiple kinds of bunion surgery depending on the location and specific nature of the deformity. You’ll want to be sure that the surgeon you choose has extensive experience in this type of surgery.
3. What will the surgery accomplish? Will the bunion and accompanying discomfort be completely gone? Can the bunion reoccur? Will I be pain free? Be sure you are clear on what the surgeon expects the outcome of the procedure to be.
4. How long will it take to recover? The amount of recovery time and when you will be able to bear weight on your foot and return to normal activities will vary with the type of surgery you have. You should expect to be off your feet for at least the first week or two.
5. Will additional treatment be required after surgery? To achieve complete healing, your foot doctor may require physical therapy. Custom orthotics may also be recommended to compensate for the defect that caused the bunion in the first place.
The decision to have any type of surgery is a serious one. If you want to find out if bunion surgery is the best choice for you, contact our Somers Point office by calling (609) 927-4894.