A bunion never gets better; instead, it keeps getting larger and causing more pain. If you want to relieve the problem, the only solution is bunion surgery, offered by the experienced podiatrists at Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery. When medications, padding, and wider shoes can’t relieve your pain, you should schedule a consultation to learn more about bunion surgery. Use the online booking feature or call the office in Burbank, Santa Clarita, or Northridge, California, today!

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When would I need bunion surgery?

A bunion is a deformity affecting the joint at the base of your big toe. The problem develops gradually as pressure pushes the bones in the joint outward, creating an abnormal bump on the side of your foot.

Over time, the bunion progressively enlarges, causing more pain and inflammation. Though medications and orthotics may help ease your pain, a bunion doesn’t heal on its own. Surgery is the only way to eliminate the bunion, repair the joint, and restore normal movement.

What symptoms indicate I need bunion surgery?

In addition to the large bump on the side of your foot, bunions cause symptoms such as:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Calluses or corns (around the bump)
  • Limited toe movement
  • Burning sensation or numbness

The size of your bunion and the severity of your symptoms determine when it’s time to consider surgery.

What happens during bunion surgery?

Bunion surgery (a bunionectomy) is usually an outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic and sedative. Your Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery podiatric surgeon uses one of the following approaches to performing bunion surgery:

Head procedure

This approach directly treats the big toe joint. Your surgeon cuts the bone, moves it back to its proper position, and fixes it in place with a screw or pin.

Base procedures

This approach focuses on the bone behind the big toe joint. Your surgeon may perform one of several base procedures, but they all restore the bone’s normal position. Your surgeon may fuse the joint to stabilize it.

What is recovery like after bunion surgery?

The type of surgery you have determines if you can put weight on your foot after surgery. Some patients may need crutches; others wear surgical shoes.

You need to keep your foot elevated as much as possible for the first week. For the first two weeks, you also need to limit walking to promote healing. However, your surgeon gives you exercises to perform daily.

The dressing also needs to stay dry for up to two weeks or until your surgeon removes the stitches. After the stitches are out, you can bathe and shower but still need to wear a dressing.

By the third or fourth week, the swelling should be down enough for you to wear wide athletic shoes.

To learn more about bunion surgery, request an appointment online or call Los Angeles Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery today.