3 Things You Didn’t Know About Bunion Surgery

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the outside of the big toe. Bunions occur when the big toe pushes against the surrounding toes, causing the joint of the big toe to become more prominent until a bunion forms.

Surgery is one option to alleviate suffering from your bunion. Read on to learn a few things you didn't know about bunion surgery.

1. The Procedure May Require Only Local Anesthesia

The exact details of your bunion surgery depend on the severity of your bunions. If possible, most surgeons forgo general anesthesia and instead perform bunion surgery under local anesthesia. Before your doctor starts the procedure, you will receive an ankle block that numbs your entire foot. You will remain awake for the procedure.

A more extensive procedure may call for general anesthesia. Even if your procedure calls for general anesthesia, it is likely that you will be able to go home the same day of the procedure.

2. Footwear Matters After the Procedure

There are a few reasons that you should stow your high heels or tight-fitting shoes for at least a few months after your bunion surgery. To hasten the healing process, it is important to wear shoes that give your feet ample room. It is common for your foot to swell for six months after the procedure.

A roomier shoe is a simple way to manage your pain levels and accommodate this swelling. You should also stay away from high-heeled shoes until your foot is completely healed. 

Once you are completely healed from your bunion surgery, you want to take steps to prevent your bunion from returning. It is believed that wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes contribute to the formation of bunions. Make sure that your footwear has a wide, boxy toe. Stay away from point-toe shoes, and check that there is space between your big toe and the end of the shoe.

3. Physical Therapy May Be Necessary After Your Surgery

During the weeks after your bunion surgery, you initially won't be able to put weight on your foot. Once you do start using your foot again, you will have to start slowly, getting your foot used to bearing weight again before you can walk or resume your normal activities.

Due to the extended activity limitations after the procedure, many patients find that their leg and foot muscles weaken. Your doctor may order you to attend physical therapy sessions to help you regain your strength.