This is a question that many patients at Texas Foot Specialists wrestle with. There is no definitive answer. A bunion is a toe deformity that is most often the result of an inherited defective biomechanical foot structure. It is a progressive disorder, which means it will not get better on its own and will most likely get worse as time goes on. Bunions, however, progress at different rates.
At the first sign of a bunion developing—pain at the base of the big toe, the beginning of the telltale bump emerging on the outside of the toe—you should make an appointment at our Pasadena (281) 991-0600, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Houston (713) 664-6677 office. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller, will then be able to diagnose your bunion and take x-rays to assess the current condition of the joint. Initially, the foot doctor will most likely prescribe conservative treatment measures such as padding, orthotics and modifying your footwear to help slow the progression of the bunion.
The only treatment that will correct a bunion, however, is surgery. As time goes on and the bunion progresses, there are certain indicators that may lead you to decide in conjunction with the podiatrist that is time for surgery. These include:
- It is nearly impossible to find shoes that you can wear without excruciating pain to the toe joint.
- You have begun to develop secondary conditions such as corns or a hammertoe as a result of the pressure being put on the toe and joint.
- Your bunion is no longer responding to conservative treatment methods.
- Daily life activities such as working, walking and performing other common activities have begun to be seriously impeded.
A bunionectomy can realign the bone, ligaments, tendons and nerves so that your big toe can be brought back to the correct position. There are several surgery options, and the foot and ankle doctor will know which is right for your particular case. Many bunion surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia and do not require a hospital stay. The recovery time can vary, however, and you’ll want to have a complete understanding of the surgical procedure and what to expect post-operatively.
If you are wondering if bunion surgery is right for you, contact us today.