Many know of the term, bunion, but not everyone knows exactly what a bunion is. It is a bony protrusion on the foot, where the big toe meets the rest of the feet, or simply, at the base of the big toe. Bunions may be caused by several factors including genetics and poor fitting shoes. Regardless of the cause, the pain and even possibly limited mobility make surgery for bunions a consideration for many who suffer from this problem. Like any surgery, there are pros and cons to the surgery, this article will review reasons to have or not have surgery for your bunion.
For many the primary reason to have bunion surgery is to relieve pain. Bunions become painful as the bony protrusion absorbs the weight of the body, due to its location at the bottom joint of the big toe. Again, the location at such a crucial part of the foot means the bunion often receives a great deal of compression and friction from shoes as well. It is not uncommon for the bunion to also suffer from calluses due to the friction from shoes. As the pain increases and the big toe begins to further curve inward to the other toes, mobility may decrease or become limited. This is another reason sufferers seek surgery for bunions.
One pro to having the surgery is of course the reduction or elimination of pain due to the bunion. However, there must be realistic expectations that post surgery it is most likely that range of motion may be limited. Along with this, it is important to realize that post surgery the choices in footwear will still be limited. Many find that a return to ill fitting footwear or shoes that do not meet surgeon approval or recommendation may result in the bunion returning or new bunions developing.
Just as there are many reasons to have bunion surgery, there are times that it is not recommended. One of the most common reasons that surgery is not advised is that non surgical measures have not been explored or fully exhausted. Like other conditions, bunions are not only relieved or cured by surgery. Other treatments along with lifestyle changes may help to alleviate pain and maintain mobility and the current level of activity. Health conditions such as poor blood flow, complications due to diabetes, and other concerns may eliminate surgery as a viable option. Be sure to discuss any and all concerns and health considerations with a trusted surgeon before having surgery for bunions.
Although seemingly straightforward, bunion surgery is unique to each patient. Bunions are like other health concerns in that there are medical and textbook definitions but each case is different due to the patient’s overall medical history and that specific to the bunion. If surgery for bunions is a topic being contemplated, reviewing pros and cons with a trusted surgeon may help to determine the best course of action. As with any other medical concern, talk with a trusted medical professional before taking any treatment or medical remedy.